Letter to the editor: The risks it takes to build a parking deck

Ryland Fisher


Every semester there seems to be one unsolvable issue, an issue that seems to bind the entire student body into one, focused complaint — why hasn’t Troy built a parking deck when the parking every fall semester seems to be bursting at the seams?

The financial burden the university would undertake is to solve this issue, however, would be quite significant.

While many would like to claim that all the money in parking decals could pay for it, this is simply not true.

Even if all students enrolled at Troy — from across the world — paid for a parking decal, it would only raise a fraction of the cost that it would take to finance a construction job of that magnitude.

According to fixr.com, the cost of building the average five-story parking lot could be upwards of $10 million. So what about the other funds the university undoubtedly has access to? Well, it is at this point that we must realize the complaints of parking will have to be significantly more alarming for Troy to start this venture.

And we, the students, will likely have to bear the cost of such a construction job.

So the next question is whether you, as a student, are willing to pay several hundred — at least — in increased university fees for the comfort of having readily available parking at all times.

It is also important to consider that those fees are unlikely to go away after construction is complete and that they might stick around for the operation and maintenance of said facility.

Maintenance is absolutely critical due to its exposure to constant use and the elements, for the safety and long-term usability of the highly valued asset, according to wbdg.org.

So what are some alternatives that could be less costly to both Troy University and the students that would accomplish the same goals of increasing the amount of parking available?

The most realistic solution would be to increase shuttle services for all students on or near campus, which would free up more of the parking to students who have no choice but to drive to school on a daily basis.

The main problem with this solution, however, is aligning the incentive structure to encourage students near campus to actually use the shuttle instead of taking their own cars.

Other alternatives include buying more land and lots located in close proximity to Troy’s main campus, which would likely incur similar risks to building a parking deck.

Which all circles around to our primary question, “What kind of risks should the university take with parking?”

These financial risks are directly dispersed to the student body, so the question is more important to you than it is the university.

What kind of risks and prices are you willing to pay to get easier parking?

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