'Good problems': With more growth comes housing, parking challenges for AU, says president

Monday, August 12th, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta University says they are expecting to set another record for their freshman enrollment.

With more students comes more challenges, two of those challenges are housing and parking.

Haroon Alam graduated from Augusta University and is now back for Medical School.

"It's a great program," Alam said. "I love it here and Augusta is a great city."

Alam has lived on campus in a residence hall for the past several years.

"It's just very convenient," Alam said. "It's easy to walk over, and I love doing that."

Augusta University said last year their residence halls were at 104 percent capacity. This year they say they'll be at 100 percent or above, which is why they want to add another hall.

"We have plans to begin thinking about a new dormitory because our student enrollment is increasing and of course that creates all kinds of good problems, like parking," Augusta University president Dr. Brooks Keel said

Parking is a big problem on AU's Health Sciences campus. For Alam, it's not too much of a problem. He gets to park on-campus because he lives in the residence hall. But he says parking is an issue for his friends who don't live here.

"They definitely complain about it, they wish there was more parking," said Alam.

The good news is AU hopes to add more.

"We're going to be looking at putting in a new parking deck on the health sciences campus as well," Keel said.

To help with parking this year, they added more lots along 15th Street, and they increased the number of shuttles and the times they pick up and drop off. They're going with more of a perimeter parking approach.

"One of the things we want to do is to takeaway some of the asphalt-concrete feel of the health science campus." He said the goal is to create more walking and green space on the Health Sciences campus like they have at Summerville," Keel said.

"We want to make our Health Science campus feel that way also, more grass, more sidewalks, less parking internally, move the traffic outside so students can walk from class to the library and from class to class," said Keel.

Students start school on Wednesday, August, 14.

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