When GRCC broke ground on the new laboratory preschool last month it was cause for celebration, for some.
Others around campus may not have heard about the new preschool, but might notice parking spots are harder to come by this semester.
To make room for the laboratory, the parking lot behind the library and Music Building was closed. This is the same parking lot that sat across the street from the non-existent football team’s practice field. A parking lot that used to provide 122 spots.
In a recent board of trustees meeting President Steven Ender alluded to his vision of “repurposing” the practice field, but did not specify what he pictured in its place. Maybe a parking garage?
A few moments later chairman of the board Bert Bleke hinted at another one of Ender’s ideas and when pressed to elaborate Ender spoke about his plan to remove even more parking spots, extending to having no parking on campus at all.
“The size that we are now, we are perfectly equipped to handle parking,” Ender said. “We grow a thousand students, we have a little problem. We need to think about that before that problem occurs.”
“I wish we could tear (the parking ramps) down and figure out a way to bus everybody in to campus.”
It is common knowledge that during the first week of classes, every semester, parking is a headache. Incoming freshman may not be aware, but anyone who has been around for more than one year can attest to this. The difference this year is that, as far as parking goes, the first week of classes has extended to the fifth and there are no signs of change anytime soon.
With enrollment down 5.9 percent this semester and a student population at 14,785, down from 17,920 just five years ago, logical thinking would assume parking spots would be easier to come by. This is not case. Enrollment continues to drop, but like any GRCC administrator will say, enrollment fluctuates along with economic trends. Like the economy, enrollment numbers are cyclical.
The numbers can only drop so low before they start to climb back up and parking gets even worse.
With many students driving to campus, parking is just as important as the cost of tuition and books.
Students should use the time before class studying or doing homework, not driving around in circles looking for a spot to park.