[Updated] Parking structure to open Thursday

Biola’s new parking structure’s opening has been moved from Wednesday, Sept. 28 to Thursday, Sept. 29. The structure’s opening is pending the repair of the security alert system.



After weeks of construction, the new parking structure will open for use on Thursday, Sept. 29, pending inspection. | Tyler Otte/THE CHIMES

Bethany Miller, Writer

Updated 11:50 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 29:

After months of construction and multiple delays, Biola’s new parking structure, officially designated “Lot S,” passed its final inspection and opened to students Thursday morning.

Parking permit incentives are available to entice students to park in the structure, According to Justin Shelby, public information officer for Campus Safety. Students who have not yet purchased permits for the fall semester can obtain a permit from Campus Safety that will allow them to park in the structure for the one week free of charge. After that first week, those students may continue to park only in the structure after purchasing a special permit for $60.

Students who have already purchased semester-long permits may also park in the new structure, and after Oct. 1, Campus Safety will begin offering discounted parking permits—in addition to the structure-exclusive permits—for students who have yet to purchase any permit.

Shelby said that Campus Safety will send out an email sometime on Thursday with more information on the additional parking permits.

Updated 7:40 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28:

The problem with the new parking structure’s fire alarm system, which prevented the structure from being opened Wednesday morning, has been resolved. After the latest in a string of delays since construction began, the structure is expected to open Thursday following its anticipated final inspection.

Some areas of the structure will remain blocked off while parking spaces are being painted, but Ken Bascom, senior director of facilities planning and construction, said 500 to 600 spaces (about 90 percent of the structure’s capacity) will be available, and the remaining spots will open next week.

According to Bascom, the structure’s fire alarm had been successfully tested on Monday and Tuesday, so Wednesday’s glitch came as an unwelcome surprise. Facilities Services electricians and information technology staff discovered Wednesday afternoon that a phone line leading from the structure had been inadvertently switched out, causing the receiving module in Metzger Hall to malfunction. Electricians replaced the module and the alarm system is now back in working order.

The parking structure will undergo another inspection at 8 a.m. Thursday, after which Bascom said he fully expects to be able to open the structure to students. The workers involved with Biola’s various construction projects have already been using the structure since Monday in order to free up roughly 60 parking spots on the street.

The opening of Biola’s new parking structure has been postponed a second time due to a failed fire inspection Wednesday morning. The structure was originally supposed to open by the time fall classes started, but after a minor collapse of the first level in May as well as delayed Los Angeles County inspections and permits, the opening date was pushed back to Sept. 28.

Jenna Bartlo, media relations coordinator for Biola, said that the structure failed the latest inspection because of a problem with the internal telephone system that connects to the fire alarm, not because of structural unsoundness or any other physical hazard.

“Everything in the structure is working properly — there’s nothing missing, but there’s an issue when the alarm goes off,” she said.

When a fire alarm goes off in the structure, a signal is supposed to be sent to the structure’s fire panel, and then that signal is relayed to Campus Safety’s switchboard. Currently, the signal between the alarm and the panel is working, but the signal between the panel and Campus Safety is not.

“They don’t know why it’s not working, but they’re currently trying to figure out what’s going on and why the message isn’t getting to Campus Safety,” Bartlo said.

If Facilities Services is able to find and correct the problem, the structure will be inspected again Thursday at 8 a.m. The structure will open as soon as it passes the inspection.

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