Parking pain eased by construction progressIt’s safe to say that finding a parking space is one of the biggest hassles of being student at any university. Students become “vultures” circling and waiting for an available space or park for a five-to-10 minute walk onto campus. Whatever the case may be, parking on asphalt is a luxury except when there are pot holes and numerous rocks damaging cars. In order to keep parking lots in good maintenance, someone has to do the hard work.
During the Christmas break when most of the UTPA population was home relaxing, workers were finishing routine projects to restore parking lots. The parking lots behind Unity Hall (K) and off Sugar Road south of Emilia Schunior Ramirez Building (B) were restored with one and a half inch of asphalt overlay that can give a parking lot another 12 to 15 years of life. Seal coat, a black coating spray, was also applied, adding up to three years of life because of its protection from moisture penetration and deterioration from ultraviolet rays. This seal coat was added to the smaller parking lots: E, H, K-1, B-1, A-2, A-5, A-7, and F-3 (arrows on the map shown point to a few of the renovated parking lots).
“Asphalt overlay and seal coat maintenance are measures that greatly extend the useful life of parking lots,” reassured John Patton, assistant director of facilities of parking and traffic.
While the much-needed repairs were welcome gifts to returning drivers, such maintenance can bring a hefty price tag along with the improvements. The next question is how will the repairs affect the average Bronc’s bill for fees.
The 30-day project cost $250 dollars per space for the asphalt overlay for parking lot K and B and $35 dollars per space for seal coat. In total for the whole project ran about $95,000 dollars but the costs cannot be tied directly to student tuition, Patton said.
“This parking lot maintenance is a routine part of facilities management at UTPA,” Patton added. “It simply is one of the necessary costs involved with keeping the campus beautifully maintained and enjoyable.”
Other modifications to the parking lot across the Recreation and Wellness Center, just completed this past Friday, were a part of this routine maintenance. Given the road work done over the break, the UTPA population can circle for hours for that shiny new face-lifted parking space.