By Whitney Eversole
Utah State University confirmed plans this week for a new parking structure to be built on its Logan campus.
The new structure is set to be built just north of the Caine Performance Hall — and fine arts students were quick to applaud the move. However, construction is not set to begin for two to three years, and fees will increase.
Gianna Patchett, a cello performance major, was especially excited when she heard the news. She explained that currently, the closest major parking structure to the Fine Arts Center is the Big Blue Terrace, nearly halfway across campus.
“The distance can be especially problematic when instruments need to be transported. Lugging a cello that far isn’t fun,” Patchett said. “It’s even more inconvenient when it’s cold outside because the weather can harm our instruments.”
Patchett’s struggles aren’t unique. “We don’t have a parking issue; we have a convenience issue,” said James Nye, the director of the Parking and Transportation Department at USU. He explained that there are more than enough parking spots for students, but most of them are located near Maverik Stadium — requiring students to either take a bus or a long walk to central campus.
With a price tag of around $9 million, Nye said the new structure’s size will be comparable to the Aggie Parking Terrace. But he also warned that students can expect steady increases in the price of parking permits for the next few years in order for the department to accumulate enough revenue for a down payment on the structure.
He explained that when the Aggie Terrace was built 11 years ago, the Parking and Transportation Department couldn’t afford it. As a result, the first 10 years of the loan were purely interest; it was just this past July that the payments started going toward the structure itself.
“It was ridiculous,” Nye said. “Let’s not do that again.”
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