Cramped for parking, UVSC looks elsewhere


    By Craig Blackwell

    This semester UVSC students are finding ways to park their cars for free.

    The rising costs of parking permits and diminishing parking space at the school has students using free spaces in the lots of local businesses.

    Students are now permitted to park in the upper parking lot of the nearby Home Base for free. However, that could change, said Gordon Butler, Home Base sales manager.

    “We opened the upper section of parking about a year ago. The problem is students are parking in the lower section closer to our store. That is a problem as our delivery trucks need to get through,” Butler said.

    UVSC charges students $40 a semester or $60 a year to park in what is designated as the yellow parking lot.

    Ryan Reese, a sophomore majoring in construction management, said he used to purchase a permit to park but decided not to when this lot became available.

    “It is faster for me to park here. I don’t have time driving up and down the lots looking for a spot and besides, it’s free,” Reese said.

    Home Base officials say they understand the school’s parking problem and have tried to help alleviate the congestion by making parking available.

    Although Butler said it will be taken away and cars will be towed if students don’t limit their parking to the designated area.

    “We have no problem with the students using the lot, and we will continue to allow them to as long as they don’t abuse it,” Butler said.

    But across the street at Wal-Mart is a different story. Wal-Mart does not allow students to park at any time in its parking lot. In fact, there are numerous signs posted stating that fact.

    Sean Gray, co-manager of Wal-Mart, said the city of Orem requires certain amount of parking based on the square footage of the store. Wal-Mart is expanding and that has taken up more of the lot.

    Gray said that at the beginning of the school year, he asked UVSC to let students know that parking at Wal-Mart is off-limits.

    “We put pamphlets on each car, and we have people who film cars and students leaving the lot. After that, we tow the cars,” Gray said.

    The major concern of Wal-Mart is students take up parking spots used by customers. Gray said that the average customer spends $80 per visit and at the beginning of the school year they had 400-600 students taking up customer spots.

    Gray said that Wal-Mart is sympathetic to the student’s plight.

    “We value students, we welcome their business. We just don’t have any parking available to them,” Gray said.

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