Campus spends $200,000 on replacement parking staff kiosks

Karen Chow/Staff

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Construction of two new parking staff kiosks at the east and west gates of campus wrapped up last month to the tune of $200,000.

Campus real estate spokesperson Christine Shaff said the old structures, which were about 40 to 50 years old, were not ADA accessible and contained lead paint. The replacement of each 15-by-8-foot kiosk separately cost about $100,000 and entailed the construction of a new foundation to ensure that the structures would be earthquake safe. The kiosks’ electrical services were also updated to allow for internet and phone connection.

“$100,000 — you’re talking a pretty sweet building,” said Mike Benfatto, an estimator for Portafab Modular Building Systems, a Missouri-based parking booth manufacturer that ships nationwide.

Portafab sells 16-by-8-foot booths for about $17,000, according to the company’s website. Benfatto added, however, that this cost does not include installation or the demolition of previous structures.

Campus activists Ismael Chamu and Rolando Gutierrez both said the project indicates the campus may be prioritizing its reputation to visitors over its students’ needs. Noting a recent meeting he attended in Eshleman Hall during which a whiteboard fell off the wall, Chamu said the campus’s decision to allocate funds toward the kiosks — as opposed to educational materials — was “careless.”

“Who drives at the end of the day?” Gutierrez said.  “It’s usually people visiting the campus … or coming for an event.”

Shaff said no student fees, campus funds or state funds went toward the replacement, which was instead financed through parking permit revenue. She added that she found the project’s cost reasonable.

“The old ones had some wood rot, they were old, they were not accessible,” Shaff said. “(Students) usually are the people working in these kiosks … working in them from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.”

Contact Jessica Lynn and Semira Sherief at [email protected].