SGA approves resolution for $10 million parking garage

Anna Lawson

WKU students’ days of searching for parking spots may be numbered. 

The Student Government Association has recently passed a resolution to support the creation of a new parking structure. The resolution calls for a $30 increase in tuition each semester to fund the structure. 

“It has been on the table for the parking and transportation committee for the whole academic year,” SGA President Nicki Taylor said. “We tried to get the opinion of students on campus to decide what to do.”

The resolution said the garage would be built on what is currently part of Creason Lot — colloquially referred to as Egypt. It also suggested that after the anticipated demolition of Tate Page Hall, a temporary gravel parking lot will be created in its place to allow for some extra parking areas while the garage is being built.

The authors of the resolution are Zach Jones, Brian Chism and Nathan Cherry. Chism said the structure will hold around 500 cars and will take about 18 months to complete once construction begins. 

As of now, the resolution will be presented to the Board of Regents before going to the Council on Postsecondary Education to approve student fees. Taylor said she hopes all of this is completed by the end of this semester. Then the university can acquire a bond and begin construction next semester. 

One point of disagreement within SGA on the resolution was the idea that it was on a tight timeframe.

SGA Chief of Staff Seth Church said he felt they had not included any of the other regional campuses.

“I feel like we were rushing into it,” he said. “I spoke to a Glasgow student who felt they were not involved with the decision.”

Church said he does agree that something needs to be done about parking, but he isn’t sure this is the best way.

Church was also concerned because all of the students who go to WKU will have to pay the $30 tuition fee, not just those who are on the Bowling Green campus.

“It affects those who don’t park on campus,” he said. “Students who take online classes or go to different campuses would also have to pay.”

Chism said that it may have seemed rushed because they had to stick to a formal time table. 

“I would argue that we looked into it, and spoke to a lot of people about it,” he said. “Most everyone we spoke with was for it.”

Taylor said President Gary Ransdell had requested the deadline of the end of February. She said the week of snow and upcoming spring break added to getting it done quickly. They are presenting at the Board of Regents meeting on March 27. 

“We wanted to make sure we had time to work out logistics and gather information,” she said. “We want to take care of any questions before we meet with the Board of Regents.”

Taylor said the student fee of around $30 will continue until the parking structure is paid off. Whenever the bond is paid off, the fee will stop.

Chism wanted to be clear that the increase on parking pass fees is not due to this resolution, which was already decided and is unrelated to this resolution.