West VirginiaUniversity officials are proceeding with an $11.2 million parking plan they say will create more than 1,000 additional spaces on campus over five years.

The parking plan �€which officials began implementing last fall �€envisions an increase of 370 spaces on the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center Campus, 300 spaces on the Downtown Campus and 350 spaces on the Evansdale Campus. The plan also includes construction of a 500-space WVU /City of Morgantown parking garage on Willey Street and a 250-space remote parking facility at an undetermined site.

“This plan is a step toward alleviating the parking problems on campus and shortening the lists of faculty, staff and students waiting for their own spots,”said Bob Roberts, director of the Department of Public Safety and Transportation.

Because parking is a self-supporting auxiliary unit, the plan also includes an increase in parking fees, Roberts said. It costs between $1,800 and $2,500 to construct a flat paved space and between $12,000 and $18,000 to build one parking garage space, he added.

Employees will pay fees based upon their income. Under this sliding scale, rates range from $6.29 a month this year for faculty and staff earning $16,000 to a maximum $42.50 a month the final year of the plan for the highest-paid employees. Employees making less than $10,000 will not pay a fee.

For students, the monthly rates will be $15 this year, $18 in 2003, $22 in 2004 and $25 in 2005. Permits are up for renewal every spring.

The timetable for projects included in the plan is as follows:

  • Fall 2001&Spring/Summer 2002 �€Pave WVU Parking Areas 81 and 84 (completed) and construct two one-level parking decks, all on the Health Sciences Center Campus

  • Summer 2002 �€ Sunnyside parking lot (Phase I)

  • Spring/summer 2003 �€Sunnyside parking lot (Phase II), Mountainlair plaza construction and 250-space remote parking facility

  • Spring/summer 2004 �€Mountainlair garage repair

  • Spring/summer 2004-05 �€Expand Creative Arts Center parking, build a one-level parking deck at the Evansdale Library and construct a one-level parking deck over WVU Parking Area 47 at the Student Recreation Center entrance

The City of Morgantown is overseeing the Willey Street parking garage project, Roberts said.

Long-range goals include a one-level parking deck for Area 81 on the Health Sciences Center Campus, development of a parking facility at West Run with the expansion of the PRT to that area. Extending the PRT would be contingent upon grant funding.

Besides the planned improvements, WVU officials continue to encourage students and employees to use alternative transportation available. This includes the PRT , MountainLine buses, on-campus bus service, free parking at the Coliseum with bus shuttle and Campus P.M. weekend transportation for students.