The 600-space South College Street parking deck, next to the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, officially opens today.
The five-level deck is intended to be used by the university and the hotel, according to an Auburn University news release.
“Level one will be for valet use by the hotel,” the release reads. “Levels two and three, and the ramps leading up to them, will be A-Zone parking for university use. Levels four and five, and their accompanying ramps, will be for hotel guests. Levels four and five will include an entry gate, and it will require a hotel room key to enter.”
A-zone parking is for Auburn University faculty and staff.
The first, fourth and fifth levels of the deck will be monitored by the hotel, while the second and third levels will be monitored by Auburn University Parking Services.
Parallel parking on the street will be controlled by the city of Auburn.
“In addition to the parking deck, streetscape improvements also are being incorporated, allowing for wider and more accessible sidewalks through the area, as well as a median and crosswalk across South College Street to provide a safe crossing zone for those walking to campus,” according to the release.
The $15.9 million parking deck, financed by university general funds, provides an increase of about 400 spaces from the hotel parking lot that previously occupied the space where it sits.
It was just over one year in the making, with the Auburn University board of trustees granting project initiation and final project approval at its April 2018 board meeting.
“The sooner we can get it built, the more additional parking capacity there will be in this sector of campus,” Dan King, associate vice president for facilities, told the trustees at the meeting. “I think everybody in this room is well aware that parking in the core of campus, particularly the closer you get to Toomer’s Corner, is problematic at best and impossible at times.”
Capital projects typically are approved by the board in a series of three votes: one to initiate the project, a second to approve architect selection, and a third for final approval.
The South College Street parking deck was presented in one motion to accelerate construction of the parking structure and to have it in place prior to the start of the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center project.
The university in April held a groundbreaking ceremony for the culinary science center, which will be built at the corner of South College Street and East Thach Avenue.