Upstate News

September 2, 2008
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate Medical University opens new 1,500-space employee parking garage

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— SUNY Upstate Medical University opens its newest parking garage—Garage West—Sept. 2, two months ahead of schedule.

The opening of the $31 million, 1,500-space garage will enable many of the 2,000 employees who have been parking in various off-campus locations, such as Alliance Bank Stadium and the Syracuse Housing Authority since May 2007, to receive on-campus parking assignments. The university provided the more than 1,000 employees who parked at Alliance Bank Stadium and the Syracuse Housing Authority with free parking and shuttle service to campus. Others displaced by the garage construction were given spaces in the Parking Garage East or in existing university off-campus lots.

“We are extremely grateful to our employees for their support during this time when we were upgrading our parking facilities,” said Eric Smith, SUNY Upstate assistant vice president for finance. “Now that we have our new parking garage open, we hope to accommodate as many employees as possible in this facility.”

Smith said the sooner-than-anticipated garage opening will enable the university to bring employees back to campus to park before winter. “Our hope was that we would have the work completed and all the employee parking matters settled before the snow flies,” he said. “We did better than that.”

Smith acknowledged the hard work of contractors and tradesman involved in the project. “Everyone did a great job in keeping this project on track,” he said.

One element of the project that remains under construction is the elevated walkway over Sarah Loguen Street that connects Parking Garage West with Parking Garage East. The walkway will enable employees who park their cars in Parking Garage West to walk to the second floor hospital lobby without going outdoors. The walkway is expected to be open by the end of October.

Parking Garage West is the second parking facility to open on SUNY Upstate campus in three years. The 1,200 space Parking Garage East opened in March 2007 to accommodate patients, visitors and employees. That represents a nearly $55 million investment in campus parking facilities.

In addition to the new parking facilities, SUNY Upstate continues to look at ways of making the commute to campus more economically and energy efficient.

“Our employees have asked us to explore various options related to parking and we have looked at some of their suggestions and making them work,” Smith said.

SUNY Upstate employees will be able to take part in a program call NYS Rides, which allows employees to pay for work-related transportation expenses on a pre-tax dollar basis.

The university has developed a carpool program that will assist employees in finding co-workers who might live nearby to join a carpool. By participating in the program, employees would see a savings in their monthly parking fees and other transportation costs.

The opening of the Parking Garage West will also result in the avoidance of on-time costs relating to temporary lease agreements with Alliance Bank Stadium and the Syracuse Housing Authority and shuttle and security services to these lots.

The university still maintains two off-campus parking lots for employees and students that are served by campus shuttle buses. SUNY Upstate employees and students pay a month parking rate.

SUNY Upstate Medical University is the region’s largest employer with nearly 7,000 employees from all across the Central New York.

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