Garage B, a new 599-space parking lot opened at Wolfson Campus on March 24.
The garage is adjacent to building 5, which houses the New World School of the Arts and the School for Advanced Studies. It has helped alleviate the parking congestion at Wolfson Campus.
“I like it. I love it,” said 20-year-old MDC student Yasmin Dominguez as she headed back to her car after a recent class. ”And you always find a spot. You don’t have to wait in a long line for parking.”
Garage A, in building 7, located on N.E. 5th St. with 2,200 spaces, is still available.
The new parking facility was previously being used as an empty and flat lot by the Bureau of Prisons of the Department of Justice. The lot is still shared with that entity, but they have their own entrance with 118 spaces.
On a recent afternoon, in the new park that was part of the project located next to building 5, about a dozen students sat on a curved bench in groups and chatted during their lunch break. The fenced lot is open to the public and has landscaping full of trees, as well as bike racks and an emergency phone.
As he headed to a meeting at the New World School of the Arts, Wolfson Campus photography professor Antonio Fernandez said he enjoys the convenience of the lot and the layout.
“It’s right next door to where I teach. The physical parking spaces are very well laid out,” Fernandez said. ”The entry and exit are very well laid out. [It’s] easy to get in and out. It makes it that much simpler to get to class.”
Lorraine Christie, a security guard for the School for Advanced Studies at Wolfson Campus, said it is nice to be able to park in a garage next to the building she works in rather than on the street.
“It was the best decision they made. I like it. It’s very safe,” Christie said. “Now when I come to work, I don’t have to park outside anymore.”
Wolfson Campus President Richard Soria said the College acquired the property through a bill signed on August of 2009 that allowed for the transfer of property to the College. The Miami Dade College Land Conveyance Act, H.R. 838 was introduced by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Senator Bill Nelson. In October 2009, the College received authorization to accept the property from the United States Attorney General to provide future expansion for the Wolfson Campus.
“This new parking garage allows us to provide a safe and convenient place for our students, faculty and staff to park,” Soria said. “Miami Dade College prides itself with building partnerships with the community. These partnerships foster a sense of community. We are proud of our continued relationship with the federal government.”.
At the March 24 opening ceremony for the facility, College President Eduardo J. Padrón described the effort to transform the previously flat 47,500 square foot fenced parking lot into the new facility.
“This was a very special collaboration between the Department of Justice and the College,” Padrón said.
Staff writer Ruth Gonzalez contributed to this report.