ARC parking structure opens in grand style


The soon to be opened parking complex as seen from College Oak Drive on February 14, 2013 after the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mark Ahling and Mark Ahling

The new parking structure at American River College has been completed and will officially open for students on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Its official dedication was held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 14, by a host of speakers, including Dr. David Viar, ARC President.

The $25.4 million project was a result of bond Measure M and, according to Viar, “is dedicated to student’s success.”

About 125 people were on hand to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony, which included a super-charged Infinity, provided by the ARC Automotive Technology Department and was piloted by Ben French through the entrance.

A 5-story monument of concrete and glass, the newest structure at the southern end of the ARC property has risen to completion amidst snarled parking problems. Temporary fencing, road cones, and concrete barriers seem to have been the landscape until most recently. As the project neared completion, a snake-like maze of barriers led students to and from the parking area.

At nearly 500,000 square feet, this goliath will host 1,748 new parking spaces, 15 electric charging stations, and 26 handicapped spaces according to the official dedication program handed out.

The pre-cast concrete structure also features a grand staircase on the north side, four elevators, three staircases, and several athletic themed art screen walls facing the Beavers Stadium. The architecture was specifically designed to mimic portions of the ARC campus, such as the front of the library and the fly tower at the performing arts building.

Students will also enjoy the parking guidance system which operates using sensors that relay signals to signs located in various spots around the garage indicating available parking. A landscaped driveway leads cars into and out of the parking structure; a fenced pedestrian bridge passes over the roadway and leads students toward Davies Hall.

The construction, which began in early 2012, has been a regular topic of discussion with students over the last two semesters on campus and online. Students looking for parking over the past few weeks have sometimes circled the lot for over 30 minutes, some resorting to parking in red zones, in order to make it to class on time.