Progress made on McNeese student parking garage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Progress made on McNeese student parking garage

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Work on a new parking garage at McNeese State University is expected to be finished in March.

McNeese Director for Public relations Candace Townsend said weather has caused some delays but not too much. The exterior work should be completed in a few weeks, then they have to complete running the electrical lines and storm drainage. Once the exterior is complete and electrical lines installed, crews will work on the lighting, security systems, counting system, railings, elevators and signage.

The structure is three levels with an option to add a fourth later. It will include nearly 900 parking spaces for students and will cost approximately $12 million.

McNeese students voted in April 2011 to approve a $75 per semester fee to build the parking facility. A straw poll taken earlier that year showed that 65 percent of students voting were concerned about parking safety and 69.8 percent favored passing a fee to construct a parking garage. In August 2010, a McNeese freshman, Ashlea Richard, died from injuries sustained while crossing McNeese Street to get to the main campus. McNeese students began paying the new parking fee in fall 2012.

"The primary reason we are considering building a parking garage on campus is to improve pedestrian safety," said Townsend. "The main campus is surrounded by four public streets with heavy traffic. The parking garage will increase on-campus parking and eliminate the need for so many students to park at the football stadium."

McNeese students voted in April to approve a $75 per semester fee to build the parking facility. A straw poll taken in February during the Spring Court election showed that 65 percent of students voting were concerned about parking safety and 69.8 percent favored passing a fee to construct a parking garage. In August 2010, a McNeese freshman, Ashlea Richard, died from injuries sustained while crossing McNeese Street to get to the main campus.

"That was a catalyst for students to look for answers to the parking situation," Townsend said.

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