Bella takes over Lot 8
Students still seeking space outside the parkade
Parking Lot 8 located in front of Mount Royal University’s East Gate was closed this year to accommodate construction on the new Bella Concert Hall and conservatory.
The East Gate parkade was built to counter the loss of parking from Lot 8.
While Mount Royal parking and transportation department has said there is no lack of parking on campus, many students are still struggling to find stalls at desired times and price ranges.
Andrew Bosch, a fourth-year marketing student, said parking has been getting progressively worse since 2008. He said he would like to see more lots opened to accommodate parking demands.
“They should expand the four-dollar lots every year,” Bosch said. “The parkade is too expensive, they need to open the S10 lots by the Currie Barracks like they used to have.”
Stefan Durston, parking and transportation manager, said it all depends on where students want to park.
“There is no lack of parking,” Durston said. “I can walk you through 400 to 500 empty stalls everyday, which is the East Gate parkade. I think it is just a lack of knowledge at this point in time.”
According to MRU’s website, the parkade is sufficient to replace the spots taken away by Lot 8’s closure. It’s believed stalls will open up in the empty lots as more people will be using the parkade this year.
“We were aware that Lot 8 was closing and that’s why the East Gate parkade was built,” Durston said. “There is space. There may not be space where they desire or at the price students desire.
“The parkade makes up for the parking that was lost in Lot 8. It’s the same price per hour, but there is a two-dollar premium per day.”
Melissa Dyck, a business student at MRU, said she switched to the parkade this year because finding spaces in the open lots was just too difficult.
“Parking is better now that I am in the parkade,” she said. When I had an open lot pass I had to drive for almost 30 minutes to find a spot.
“Now that I am in the parkade I don’t have trouble parking, but I am also paying a lot to have that convenience.”
Durston said the break-even cost of a parkade stall per year is actually $2,500, so the $900 annual fee is a good deal. Yearly passes for open lot parking permits are subsidizing the cost of the $30-million parkade, he added.
Durston also said that four dollars per day is not a bad cost for parking.
“If you look at other colleges and universities around Alberta, Mount Royal’s parking is relatively reasonable especially for being in the city of Calgary.”
Bosch and Dyck said Mount Royal definitely needs more parking.
“Besides building another parkade, there isn’t space on campus,” Dyck said. The only other thing they could do would be to build more parking off campus where the corporate buildings are.”.
When construction is completed, Durston said they might get some parking back. But, he maintains parking shouldn’t be an issue until then and isn’t an issue now.
Construction on the Bella is scheduled to start in December, said Steve Foster, director of physical resources.