The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Garage idea worth close look

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

During a recent work session, the board of trustees discussed building parking garages on all campuses to accommodate a shortage of available parking.

The number of students enrolled this semester is 44,345 while the number of parking spots is only 11,333, which is a ratio of about four students to one parking spot.

This problem needs to be solved.

When the board of trustees met in the workshop, David Wells, vice chancellor of operations and planning services, presented ideas for parking solutions. He told the board that either structures need to be built or more land needs to be purchased and pavement lots put in place.

When Wells came forward with the presentation, he did not specify which idea would be better. He merely gave the board possibilities to consider. He said that during the next year students and faculty will be asked to identify and discuss issues and possible solutions.

When the board meets again to discuss the parking issues, Wells will make a recommendation of what needs to be done, and the board can make a decision.

If parking garages are built, cost estimates range from $13.5 million to $19.5 million, depending on the type of structure.

Although garages are more expensive than paved lots, they provide more parking in less space. And, for the most part, the district could use land it already owns. 

Though that is a large amount of money, if TCC decides to construct more parking lots instead of garages, more problems could arise later.  As the enrollment number continues to climb, students will need not only somewhere to park but additional classrooms to house the increase.

If garages were built, TCC would not have to locate more land for future buildings but could build on current parking lots or adjacent land.

Also if garages are not built, students could find themselves with harsher problems than exist today. After heavy rains last month, NE Campus students were parking in the mud. Near SE Campus, an adjacent church recently put up a “towing enforced” sign to prevent students parking there.

If Board members opt to purchase more land and construct more pavement parking lots, they could still run into money problems in the future as the cost of land, materials and labor would increase.

New pavement lots built to fix the current problem could end up being a short-term solution.

Ultimately, it’s up to the board to determine the best value. But, let’s face it. Miles of pavement are not as aesthetically pleasing as a building.

TCC may just have to pave paradise and put up some parking garages.

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