SASC construction leads to more parking dilemmas

Rendering of the Student Academic Support Center by architectural firm Gould Evans. SASC will house the honors college, the University graduate school offices, enrollment services, student financials and a the University’s largest auditorium classroom, with 750 seats.

Rebeca Piccardo/News Director

Parking woes for students will only worsen now that the University is closing down 167 parking spaces in front of the bookstore for a new building.

The long-awaited Student Academic Support Center project will finally break ground this month, but the new building will take over an area of Lot 3, and leave students with less parking spaces available this semester.

The parking situation this fall has been hectic since a parking lot closed to give way for the construction of Parking Garage 6, which will add 2,000 parking spaces when it opens in January.

“While we attempted to delay the start of construction until the end of the semester, we were not able to do so without adversely impacting the construction timeline and price,” said Maria Guillem-Pendas, senior project manager of facilities management and construction services, in a Nov. 7 memorandum to the University community.

The SASC building has been planned out for years, but it took a while to put in all the money for the project. The University originally received funding back in May 2010, when it was granted $21 million from the Florida Legislature. The last $7 million came in in this year.

The 74,000 square-foot building will house admissions, student orientation, advising, registration, student financial services and career services.

The portion of Lot 3 will be closed starting Monday, Nov. 10 and modify the rest of the parking lot to include meter parking, faculty, disabled and carpool spots.

The bus stop for both the Golden Panther Express and the CATS shuttle will shift further south along the sidewalk of Lot 3.

The alternative parking nearby is in Lot 5 and the Lot 5 overflow. The University will be providing a shuttle service from the lots to the drop-off area between the Frost Art Museum and the Blue Garage.

The shuttle will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday until Dec. 12.

For more information, students can contact Parking and Transportation at 305-348-3615.

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