to existing parking facilities and traffic flow and the acquisition
of property for additional parking spaces on The University of Southern
Mississippi's Hattiesburg campus will be funded through an increase
in the university's annual parking fee.
The new campus parking fee is $50 for all administrators,
faculty, staff and students and will take effect in September. University
employees will have the option to pay the fee in two $25 increments
through payroll deductions in September and January 2006.
Projects cited for funding through the fee increase
include restructuring of entrances to campus, an information kiosk
in the Freshman Quad area, a welcome parking center and gated parking,
a plaza on West Memorial Drive and the acquisition of available
property for additional parking spaces, among others.
"These projects are part of the university's
plan to move parking to the perimeter of campus and make a more
desirable, pedestrian friendly center of campus with a community
feel to it," said Gregg Lassen, chief financial officer for
Southern Miss. "The enhancements to parking and sidewalks also
add to the beauty and enjoyment of the campus."
Lassen said the university's staff council was instrumental
in developing the plan to divide the 2005-2006 parking fee payment
to lessen its financial impact. University administrators plan to
work with the staff council and the university's parking and transportation
committee to consider alternative pricing mechanisms next year.
The parking fee increase is the first at Southern
Miss in more than 12 years, according to university officials.
"The university has increased parking with 1,200
additional spaces in the last two years, and our plans are to continue
this pattern to meet the growing demand for spaces," said Southern
Miss Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway. "The funds from this
fee increase will allow us to accomplish much needed work to improve
campus parking that I believe will benefit all students, faculty