New parking structure will be finished soon, will alter many aspects of campus

Valerie Kramer, Content Editor/Print Manager

Courtesy of City of Santa Ana
PARKING SOLUTIONS: A diagram from 2010 show the anticipated look of the new parking structure that will break ground this coming fall. Students will utilize stairwells in order to go from different levels and the outside will be designed to match with the Meruelo Athletic Center and the school’s colors, scarlet and gray.

At the south corner of campus, towering blocks of metal and concrete stretch toward the sky and multiply by the day as large construction trucks move in and out of the site. That is the scene that many students and parents notice when driving in and out of the school. However, soon enough, this space will home to a brand new three-level project parking structure that will available to all students, faculty, staff and visitors.

According to the City of Santa Ana’s website, the proposed parking structure will provide 990 parking spaces.

The project, which started last September, is anticipated to be competed some time between September and October, Assistant Principal of Student Services Lee Gaeta said.

The idea for the project came about because of an increase in demand for parking, Gaeta said. For example, the school is planning to build a new performing arts center, which could seat up to 1,000 visitors. In addition, the school hosts many large events, including, the annual Nike Extravaganza, which often results in limited parking conditions.

The organization of student and teacher parking will also be altered once the structure is complete. For example, the Edinger Lot will no longer be used for student and teacher parking.

“Faculty and staff will park in the north portion of the Monarch Way lot,” Worrell said. “Students will park on the south end and in the parking structure.”

According to administration, safety will also be better improved for students, teachers and visitors and their vehicles with the addition of the structure. Gaeta also said that the new structure will result in a “closed campus situation that we can obviously enclose our kids … because of the safety structures we’ve put in place, but also to enclose their cars for safety as well as protection.”

“A dedicated security guard will be assigned to patrol the parking structure during all hours,” said Director of Security Dan Worrell in an email.

The addition of the new structure will also affect the way morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up occurs. According to city documents, drop-off and pick-up will use a new one-way circulation system, similar to existing operations, with cars entering from the north on Edinger Avenue and continuing south to exit onto the new Monarch Way extension at St. Andrew Place. In addition, the document states that “students parking in the main surface parking lot would have access from Edinger Avenue during the morning arrival only.”

Freshman Nikolai Kobzeff, who is anticipating getting his permit in February, is looking forward to utilizing the new parking structure once it is completed. Kobzeff said that it will be nice to no longer have to park in the Edinger lot and that getting out of campus will be simpler.

“It’s going to be easier to to get out of the school,” Kobzeff said.

However, other students are concerned about the possible negative effects of the parking structure.

Courtesy of Vice President of Advancement, Erica Adams
COMING SOON: The completed parking structure will be three stories high and will be surrounded by two roads
that will facilitate entering and exiting. A large ramp will also be off to the side of the structure allowing for cars to park on the multiple levels.

“It is going to cause more traffic for the people getting in the Main Lot and it’s going to take a long time to get out of there…” junior Danielle Matteson said.

For example, even though as the document describing the structure said that the route for parent and student driving would be similar to what it is now, there will be more spots and as a result more students will park in a singular area.

Nonetheless, the parking structure will alter the very fabric of our campus and alleviate any parking shortages and potential safety concerns.

“Having an on-campus structure, I believe will make things a lot smoother, easier and pleasant when arriving or departing campus,” Worrell said. “It will also enhance the overall safety and security of the campus.”