Office of Facilities Management working to enhance parking experience for students

The Office of Facilities Management is investigating ways to use an app or other forms of technology to enhance the parking experience at NSU.

On Jan. 19, President Hanbury held a town hall meeting in HPD to discuss student concerns with those in attendance. Among those concerns was parking. President Hanbury and Daniel Alfonso, vice president of Facilities Management, briefly spoke about the possibility of adding new technologies to NSU to improve the overall parking experience of students. Since then, Alfonso has been diligently working to try to get these new features in place.

One of the concepts mentioned was a smart parking app that would help students find parking spots.

“The president would like to see us develop technology so that people have the ability to find where the parking availability is,” explained Alfonso. “So that if you’re driving to campus, and you want to know where parking availability is, you can look on your app on your phone and figure out, ‘Hey, the parking garage at the west side is already full, but there’s surface parking available.’”

Since the town hall meeting, the staff in the Office of Facilities Management has been speaking with professional developers to try to get this idea up and running.

“We are now talking to folks that are experts in the field of parking, in terms of managing parking facilities and spaces, and we’re looking to develop the technology within the university that would allow us to do that,” said Alfonso.

Alfonso estimated it could cost anywhere from just under $1 million to $4 million to improve parking technology. The price would depend on the kind of technology implemented. For example, a more expensive option would be able to track license plates to tell the user where his or her car is simply by typing in the number. Whereas, a less capital-intensive alternative would just show which parking spots are available. At this early stage in development, it is too soon to predict an exact price.

In addition to the current parking spaces, NSU is planning on building a new parking garage to help accommodate students to be housed in the new residence hall that is set to open in August of 2019.

“We have about 8,000 parking spaces on campus [without the new garage]. The new parking garage will give us 9,200 [total] parking spaces,” said President Hanbury at the town hall meeting on Jan. 19. “To give you some idea, that’s more parking spaces than downtown Fort Lauderdale.”

According to Alfonso, Facilities just recently received the approval on the architectural rendering, and now the office is working on getting ready to get a permit from the town of Davie to start construction. It is expected that the parking structure will be accessible around the same time as the opening of the residence hall set to open in the fall semester of 2019.

Students are encouraged to reach out to Daniel Alfonso at djalfonso@nova.edu with any questions, comments or concerns about parking or facilities.

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