Students with transportation face a dilemma on Florida A&M’s campus.
Since the beginning of the fall semester, the third floor of the parking garage has been blocked off, forcing students to park further away from campus or park in prohibited areas.
“I know it’s a hard time for us to find parking and sometimes we result into parking in staff or reserved parking just so we won’t be late to class — even if we aren’t supposed too,” said junior political science major De’ Teruis Parker.
Students feel like it adds to the parking hysteria causing parking to be an inconvenience to everyone on campus.
“I feel that FAMU could do a better job with their parking and a better job with letting us know when there are parking closures. And if there are closures, they should provide alternatives to help,” said senior Adia Becton.
According to Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President of Safety Chief Calloway, the third floor is closed for safety reasons and an outside source was called to assess the garage.
“There is a piece of grout welded upon the third floor of the garage that we thought was moving a little bit so we closed it for precautionary measures. Short term, there is no issue. It just needs to be monitored. Over the course of the years, we would need to get it replaced,” said Calloway.
Denver Smith, student body’s chief of staff, explained why students and staff were not informed of the closure of the garage.
She said, “I personally realize as serving in the capacity of SGA chief of staff not only on the administration side but as well on the student leadership side we do a poor job of communicating period to the student body.”
She added that the university is working on transparency and as a student leader she will do her best to keep the student body informed as whole.
According to officials, structures like the garage and football stadium are inspected annually. Constructed in 1998, the 19-year-old garage was built with 320 spaces by architects Akin & Associates, Inc. and Broward & Associates via record of the State of Florida Board of Regents.
At this time, it cannot be determined by Parking Services or Facilities Planning and Construction on the time frame which the garage will be fixed but they do have a meeting next week to look further into the matter.
“Faculties Planning and Construction have a meeting schedule early next week with a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage and to determine if the garage can be safely used,” said Interim Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Craig Talton.
With thousands of people expected at this year’s homecoming, it has not been made clear the parking alternatives that will be put in place to accommodate the extra guests.
While some believe there will never be enough parking, according to Talton a second garage is in the master plan for the university and is currently in the planning stages.