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Palomar’s newest innovation makes parking manageable

After years of navigating lots to find parking, Student now enjoy a new parking garage following Palomar’s grand opening on Jan 24.

With five stories and 1616 parking spaces, the structure includes 28 handicapped parking spots and six van spaces. Each level contains an elevator and stairs on both. Levels one, two, and three include individual entrance and exit points to assist with traffic flow.

The new Palomar parking garage pictured, Feb 13, opened on Jan 24, at the San Marcos campus. Jennesh Agagas / The Telescope
The new Palomar parking garage pictured, Feb 13, opened on Jan 24, at the San Marcos campus. Jennesh Agagas / The Telescope

Palomar’s Superintendent, Joi Lin Blake, addressed the attendees of the ceremony stating, “We just didn’t put up a parking structure and stripe some pavement. We have gone above and beyond.”

Building the 499,000 square foot parking structure, the new police department, and restructuring Lot 12, which included all furnishings, equipment, etc… totaled a cost of just under $32 million, which will be coming out of Palomar’s $694 million Prop M bond, voted on in 2006 .

Palomar has equipped the parking garage with emergency phones, license plate readers, electronic signs indicating space availability, LED lighting, and security cameras.

It will also include solar panels, but have yet to be installed. The completion of the installation is anticipated for sometime in 2018. Three security cameras will be placed on every level and the installation is nearing completion.

Students and faculty have noticed and mentioned to The Telescope that the space readers outside of the parking garage have not been accurate to the space availability.

“The counters are about 85 percent accurate,” Palomar Public Affairs Director, Laura Gropen said in an email. “The current counter system provides a good indication of how many spaces are available on each level. After the first week of classes, the parking structure is averaging at about 50 percent full so there has never been a lack of available spaces,” Gropen said.

The new Palomar parking structure located near the H building, Feb 13. Taylor Hardey / The Telescope

Additionally, Palomar will be equipping the structure with charging stations for electric cars sometime in 2018, however, there will be a set fee in order to be used. Palomar is partnering with SDG&E (Sand Diego Gas & Electric) to install the charging stations. They will also be determining the usage fee for students.

“The District has been selected to participate in a new program run by SDG&E where SDG&E designs and installs electric vehicle charging stations at no cost to the District. The District has been working with SDG&E to determine the number and location of the charging stations. SDG&E’s plans have not yet been completed so the charging stations have not yet been installed,” Gropen explained over email.

The parking structure will close at 11 p.m. like all other lots, with the entrances barred off with arms. If a student is trying to leave after that time he or she will need to contact campus police to get the arms lifted. The emergency blue phones will still be operating and can be used to call the campus police.

The new Palomar parking garage pictured, Feb 13, opened on Jan 24, at the San Marcos campus. Jennesh Agagas / The Telescope
The new Palomar parking garage pictured, Feb 13, opened on Jan 24, at the San Marcos campus. Jennesh Agagas / The Telescope

Chris Hopp, president of the Associated Student Government and Palomar’s Student Trustee, stated in his address at the ceremony,

“Now it might not seem like a parking garage is that big a deal, but to students this means not missing classes. This means not having to drive around that parking lot looking for that last spot. It means having the peace of mind that when you come to school you know your going to have a place to park your car, your going to get to class on time.”

Image Sources

  • New.Parking.Garage.Agagas.01: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • feature_garage_Hardey1: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • New.Parking.Garage.Agagas.06: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • feature_garage_Hardey1: Taylor Hardey/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
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