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Campus Police department moves beyond the trailer

Palomar on Campus Police Station. Johnny Jones/The telescope
Palomar on Campus Police Station. Johnny Jones/The telescope

Palomar College will see a new parking structure in the next decade.

The Governing Board of Palomar College approved for a building plan of a new Campus Police Department, as well as parking garage in 2006. Updated plans were presented to the board in October with the set goal to construct a new parking garage and relocate campus police by 2022.

While plans are in the works, they won’t be accomplished for quite some time while students are seeing that the parking on campus is a struggle right now.

Nik Baldewein, a 21-year-old digital broadcast major, said he thinks the parking on campus has been consistently burdensome.

“For example, if you get there at 7 a.m., parking is fine but if you get there after 8 you’re gonna start searching for a spot,” said Baldwin.

The new structures will be in Lot 12, adjacent to the planned Learning Resource Center/Library, where the parking lot will also be repaved to adjust for the updated vehicle traffic. The parking structure will have a minimum of 1,600 parking spots according to updated building plans during a special Governing Board meeting on Oct. 25.

Police Sergeant Chris Moore said that the new department space will compliment and coordinate with the changes like the parking space and increase of students on campus which is projected to increase more than 26,000 in the next six years.

“The police are connected to everything that happens on campus, so to grow the campus, you have to grow the police department,” said Moore. “It’s really good timing.”

Projected enrollment of students on campus will increase to over 26,000 in the next six years.

Juvelyn Ingal, a nursing major at Palomar, also feels like the parking situation at Palomar needs some work.

“I’ve been going to Palomar since 2010 and each year I’ve noticed how difficult to find parking is,” said Ingal. “By noon, the parking lot is full.”

She added that some students, even with parking passes, need to drive around for an hour for a spot to become available.

Palomar on Campus Police Station. Johnny Jones/The telescope
Palomar on Campus Police Station. Johnny Jones/The telescope

The parking structure, as well as the new Police Department location will be designed and handled by McCarthy/Delawie Architects. With a budget of $31.8 million, the McCarthy/Delawie Architects were selected to handle this project, estimated by the company to cost $28.8 million, stated in the report.

The parking structure will also provide five accessible parking spaces dedicated to serve the T Building.

The construction process is also being planned so as not to interfere with any existing roads and parking arrangements, as well as facilities on campus like the library. It also will have emergency blue phones, solar panels on the top parking deck, and parking ticket machines.

The Police Department plans to have a license plate recognition system at the entrances and exits to the parking structure via use of new security cameras. Full San Diego Police union approval and final project certification will also be obtained. It also will be designed to obtain a minimum LEED Silver certification and serve as the primary Emergency Operations Center and will be able to connect to existing emergency power supply.

Moore said he felt the new space will enable the officers to keep campus safer.

“If, heaven forbid, an incident like that happened at Ohio State University, it would be sustained,” said Moore.

Moore added that having more officers and dispatching opportunities will make keeping the chaos under control, should a mass crime happen.

Ingal also saw the benefits of the timing of these campus updates.

“I’m very happy to hear the school is addressing the parking situation,” said Ingal. “It’s been an issue for way too long.”

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