Georgia Gwinnett College students upset over parking


Students at Georgia Gwinnett College say growing pains are putting parking at a premium.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Students at Georgia Gwinnett College say growing pains are putting parking at a premium.

This semester, GGC has record high enrollment -- nearly 10,000 students. Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh went to the campus in Lawrenceville to speak with officials about possible solutions for the parking woes.

"Every year, we get fewer and fewer parking spaces," said student Steve Van Valkenburgh.

He said he's often driving around looking for a parking space.

"When I started, there were 2,000 some-odd students here," Van Valkenburgh told Kavanaugh.

Three years later, GGC has almost 10,000 students sharing about 4,000 parking spots.

"I have to sometimes get here an hour to an hour and half early to find a space and walk to class," said Britteny Van Valkenburgh.

Courtney Kress echoed her sentiments.

"You spend, like, 45 minutes trying to find a spot and you're late to class. That's bad," Kress said.

But campus public safety officials insist the school has enough parking.

"We do have adequate parking at the campus," said Chief Terrance Schneider, director of public safety for Georgia Gwinnett College.

He said the pinch always seems worse at the beginning of the fall semester.

"The reason is everyone pretty much comes to class at the same time," Schneider said.

As schedules adjust, Schneider said they are also stepping up efforts to ease the parking pain. They've added two gravel overflow lots.

GGC is using social media to alert students to available parking through text alerts, Facebook and Twitter.

Kavanaugh found plenty of open spaces when she checked into students' concerns. But they said the distance of the gravel lot is inconvenient. Students said they have to walk a half a mile to class.

"On hot days it's really hard to walk that far, and I have asthma, and it's harder for me to walk that far," Britteny Van Valkenburgh said.

"I think having a shuttle that runs a route every 15 minutes or so would be great," Steven Van Valkenburgh said.

GGC officials said they don't have a real timeline on a shuttle service, because state funding would need to be allocated for it. They are trying to determine how much the service would cost.

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