New parking garage plans spark debate at community meeting

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    The latest point of contention in TCU’s proposed parking garage comes down to this: 45 parking spaces. 

    TCU administrators met with area neighborhood associations to iron out the changes made to the design of the garage since their first meeting in August.

    Todd Waldvogel, associate vice chancellor for facilities, said the garage will add about 350 spots to Lot 5, including 45 visitor spots lining Cantey Street.

    “The cars [in the 45 spots] will head in toward the garage about 15 to 20 feet away from the fence,” he said at the meeting. “There will be landscaping along the sides of the building consistent with the landscaping standards around campus.”

    Becky McKenzie, a representative for the University West Neighborhood Association, said she believed the community members warmed up to the new design, but the 45 parking spaces facing Cantey Street struck a nerve.

    “That’s not the side of the garage to me—that’s the front. I’m going to see it every time I open my door,” McKenzie said.

    Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said designers have worked very hard to address each concern discussed during the first meeting.

    “The size and location of the structure isn’t going to change,” Gutierrez said at the meeting. “In terms of aesthetics, we believe we are very close.”

    Martha Jones, vice president for Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association, said there was a great improvement in design and understands the issues TCU is dealing with.

    “TCU needs parking. When they have a function, there is no place to park, and it is an issue,” Jones said. “It’s growing pains.”

    Design plans are expected to be finalized in October, and construction is slated to begin in December. The garage will be open to students and visitors by the first football game in 2015.