By Noaem Herrera, Kapi‘o Staff Writer /
The fact of Kapi‘olani Community College’s parking shortage is well known to anyone who has visited the campus during peak weekday hours.
“I come to school really early to find a spot and waste a lot of gas circling around,” said first-year student Meghan Rego. “I always end up having to park in residential areas or at the Cannon Club.”
Liberal arts major Jorge Franco knows the feeling.
“I hate it!” Franco said. “There is just no guarantee. I can drive around for thirty minutes without finding (a space).”
The problem is partly the consequence of the school’s success in attracting new students like Rego and Franco.
The campus, including its parking areas, was originally designed to accommodate a student body of about 5,000. This semester, some 7, 816 are enrolled at KCC. In recent years, the total has hovered around 8,000, peaking in 2011 at 9,023 students, according to the University of Hawaii Institutional Research & Analysis Office.
KCC’s Auxiliary Services Office estimates that there are 931 parking stalls allotted for students and 273 for staff this school year, numbers that can fluctuate due to special requests for parking from visiting faculty from other UH system campuses.
Auxiliary Services officials said that students remain a top priority and the office welcomes suggestions for improvement. However, any relief to the current parking shortage is not likely to come soon.
“Due to the financial situation, currently we do [not] have plans to further expand the parking lots at Kapiolani Community College” said Auxiliary & Facilities Services officer Gordon Man.