An update on parking and renovation projects on NSU campus

PRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM R. FRIED

As of April 2018, NSU broke ground on the joint effort of Mako Hall and the new residential parking garage. Now the 32,000 sq. ft., 209 room residential hall and 1,320 spot, seven-floor parking structure is open to student use. With a resident-specific parking structure new to campus, new or returning students might not be aware of updates to the designation of parking lots and structures on campus. Students have, in the past, voiced their concerns about the Alvin Sherman Library parking garage and it’s tendency to be at or near capacity. According to Marco Bravo, manager of special events and parking services, students shouldn’t worry about this issue this academic year.

“Based on our studies, the [Alvin Sherman Library] garage does not getting filled on our regular field operations between the hours of 9-5. In case the garage does get full, [students have access to] the Horvitz or Mailman parking lot and the AC tan lot, which is right across from the library garage, northwest corner. It also has about 110 spaces. There are other options farther away such as the HPD garage, the [baseball field] lot on 75th Ave. and the upper left side of the West Garage,” said Bravo.

In cases where the university holds special events, Bravo explained that students are notified through a mass email to inform them of the usage of the parking areas, making it easier to plan accordingly.

Another significant update to NSU’s parking policies is that students, faculty and staff are prohibited from “backing” into a parking space, which began being enforced on Sept. 1. Unless a vehicle has a dual license, meaning a license is displayed on both sides of the vehicle, drivers on campus will not be able to back into parking spaces. This is part of a security provision to ensure parking stickers can be in view and to make it easier to catch parking violators.

“We are working on warnings [to drivers] for now, but once all the [signage is displayed in all parking areas] we will be able to fully enforce [this new policy],” said Bravo.

For guests visiting the university, they also have designated parking areas in which they can pay for their parking spaces in various locations across campus and by the “pay-by-phone” app.

“The [Pay-by-Phone feature] will be enacted in the next few weeks for guests and patrons to the Alvin Sherman Library in addition to parking meters. We added 14 meters around campus; the [Alvin Sherman Library] garage has two and there will be 12 additional meters at other locations around campus,” said Bravo.

But these were not the only updates to campus over this past semester. The 24-hour Starbucks on campus was renovated through co-funding by the Starbucks corporation and NSU. According to Daniel Alfonso, vice president of facilities management at NSU, “It’s a better feel. It’s a more sleek modern [look]. It’s a more open space and inviting to students. I feel we met our goal [of an update renovation] with [Starbucks].”

Over the winter semester, NSU also renovated the Mailman-Hollywood Building. According to Alfonso, the goal of this renovation was to consolidate all the faculty members and staff for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences into one building as well as a refresh the look of the building.

“The [Mailman-Hollywood Building] is one of the original buildings on campus and it needed a refresh. So we put in new carpets, repainted the walls, exchanged the furniture and the lighting. We had to harden the building in case of natural disasters and we needed to ensure that the windows were impact resistant and the roof was redone. So, it’s all brand new. It was time. When [students visit] the building now, it should feel like a newer, cleaner facility, [whereas] before, it was kind of tired and beaten down,” said Alfonso.

Over the next few years, NSU plans to “refresh” multiple buildings around campus as well as extend the lives of the roofs of multiple buildings as they reach their 20-year milestones.

“[President Hanbury] has given [facilities management] the task of establishing this multi-year capital plan for the university. We are considering maintenance and repair work of surface parking lots and roadways, a refresh of the furniture in the [Carl Desantis building] and the [Maltz Psychology building]. There are challenges, but this is a 300-plus acre campus and [construction and maintenance] is expected,” said Alfonso.

Another construction project on the horizon for NSU is the current location of the Miami Dolphins training facility. The Miami Dolphins have broken ground on their new training facility in Miami-Dade county and are expected to move in 2021. According to Alfonso, the space that the Miami Dolphins currently own and operate will be left to the university for NSU-based developments.

“We are currently discussing what are we going to put in that nearly 80,000 sq. ft facility. There are some thoughts being passed around but nothing final yet. But I can say, it will be for NSU growth,” said Alfonso.

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