Cal State LA Opens New Parking Structure

Parking Structure E’s Lot 5 entrance. The parking structure supports new EV chargers, WiFi, parking sensors, and solar panels.

Monica Tamayo , Contributing Writer

Cal State LA welcomes a brand new parking structure on campus. Structure E is the first parking structure on campus to feature new amenities that are aimed towards being environmentally friendly and technologically advanced. 

The $62 million project, funded by the California State University system-wide revenue bond program, began construction on March 26, 2018, causing a loss of parking spots from Lot 5. The structure opened Monday morning in time for the 2019 fall semester. 

The building “holds 2,219 vehicle spaces, including 34 ADA spaces” according to Carmen Gachupin of Parking and Transportation Services. Staff, students and visitors are welcome to park inside the lot and is designed to allow those utilizing the structure to reach campus in a timely manner once parked. 

Equipped with two elevators, the structure’s third level has a walkway that connects to the roof level of Structure C. This walkway was created for pedestrians to avoid potential accidents. 

The structure is located between Parking Lot 5 and Parking Structure C. Structure E is five levels high with multiple entrances and exits in efforts to reduce traffic congestion. The first level entrance is located at the intersection of Paseo Rancho Castilla and N. Levanda Ave. The second level entrance is located next to Parking Lot 5.

There is also an additional entrance facing the TVF building. According to project manager, Kevin Kapoor, one of the things people will notice is that every floor is designed a specific color.  Kapoor explained that the reason for every parking level with a distinct color is because it is easier for people to remember what color level they are parked on instead of a number. 

What makes this structure different is it was created to be environmentally substantial. The top level has solar panels installed which is the university’s way of creating and giving back energy. The solar panels will also provide shade for parked vehicles. 

On the 4th level, there are spaces reserved near the elevator for Clean Air/VanPool/EV vehicles. Students, staff and visitors who have seven people in their van are considered VanPool cars and are eligible to park in those spots.

For those who drive electric cars, the first three levels will offer charging stations. For the first level, the first hour is free with a charging limit of two hours. On the second and third level the charge is free for the first two hours. 

As for the technological advancements, structure E has Wi-Fi, security cameras and a car counting system. Outside of the building there will be a large marquee with all the floors informing drivers of how many spots are currently unoccupied before driving inside. 

Although the structure is open, not all levels will be open for operation. 

Gachupin added, “1,686 parking spaces will be available on the first floor floors of the new structure, The rooftop, which contains 533 vehicle spaces will be closed for safety reasons while solar panels are installed.” 

The 5th level of the structure is expected to open later this fall.