Parking woes to be a thing of the past

By Alethia Meloncon

By Alethia Meloncon

The question of parking at Riverside City College can now be answered.

The long awaited parking structure is now open for students. The new structure brings a welcome relief to the parking issues that have plagued RCC for some time. The parking issue left very frustrated students driving around for up to an hour trying to get a parking space and late to class.

The new structure will have an additional 1,100 parking spaces along with eight tennis courts. The tennis courts are open to the public.

On Nov. 7 the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the parking structure went off without a hitch, warm weather included. The event had many on hand to witness the official opening, including Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge, longtime Riverside residents, RCCD administration, faculty, staff and students.

It started with a welcome by Vice President of Student Services Ricardo Perez and others.

“The parking structure will become the future of many tailgate parties,” Mary Figueroa, RCC Board Trustee said during the ceremony.

Following her remarks, Riverside Community College District Chancellor Salvatore Rotella started, by joking that he never has any problem with parking.

He went on to thank Riverside for passing Measure C, which helped to fund the parking structure. He stated “that the parking problem is one that could only be solved with money.” The money granted to RCCD through Measure C was to make many needed improvements for the growing campus that the state will not fund.

“The parking structure is a new part of configuration of RCC, a line of action that will make RCC an urban campus,” Rotella said. He also spoke about new projects for the football field and the A.G. Paul Quadrangle area which are under construction.

“The parking structure was a gift from the community,” Rotella said.

The parking structure is a joint partnership with RCCD and the community of Riverside that is available to the community.

Longtime resident of Riverside, Ted A. McNutt, said that he and his wife supported Measure C because it was a way of assisting students who are going to college. He has also played tennis here at RCC for 27 years.

RCCD was one of five community colleges chosen to receive funding from Measure C to improve the campus.

Mike Gonzales, Associated Student Body president thanked the faculty and said “that now we have 1,100 more parking spaces to fight over.”

Bill Murphey, a student at RCCD stated “the new parking structure would mean no more fighting for parking and driving in circles.” He commented that it was nice to know he would not have to leave an hour early just to get to class on time.

The parking structure will be equipped with 24-hour surveillance that will be monitored by RCC police located at the top of the parking structure and emergency phones. The campus police will also add frequent patrol of the area along with its regular routes.

After the key-note speakers the ribbon was cut, the plaque and time capsule were placed and refreshments were served for all in attendance. Since the ribbon cutting, the parking structure was opened for one day and then closed again.

Minor work is still being done on the tennis court fencing, and on the exits of the parking structure.

According to Parking Services Sgt. Richard Henry and RCC President Daniel Castro, they wanted to make sure the parking structure was fully operational before opening.

The structure did have two levels open the day after the ribbon cutting ceremony, but the entire structure was closed as of Nov. 9. The delays should be resolved in a matter of days so that the parking structure will open on all levels.