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Posted on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 1 p.m.

New parking garage eases space crunch at Washtenaw Community College

By Kellie Woodhouse


Parking availability at Washtenaw Community College was inadequate before the construction of a new parking structure.

File Photo |

A dearth of parking at Washtenaw Community College has long been bemoaned by students, but that's all changing with the opening of a new, $12.7 million, 473-space parking structure.


A rendering of the new WCC parking garage.

Plans courtesy of Rich & Associates and WCC

The structure opened this month and features an enclosed walkway that connects the garage to the existing Crane Liberal Arts and Science building.

WCC officials have touted the garage as necessary to accommodate a growing student body and a long-standing parking problem at the college.

Due to tight parking, the school asked many students and instructors to park off-site in lots at Eastern Michigan University and take a shuttle to the WCC campus prior to the opening of the new structure. The school also encouraged students to take the bus, selling more than 1,000 discounted Ann Arbor Transportation Authority passes.

Despite ardent support from WCC administrators, the garage did receive some criticism from students and a few WCC trustees, who said the project was too costly and poorly designed. WCC also had trouble getting the garage plans approved by Ann Arbor Township. The township sent back WCC's initial zoning request for the garage due to an incomplete application.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

Why doesn't the "Golden Goose" AATA bus service have buses going to the campus, why is this not part of the plan to ease the parking problem at WCC? I have read about plans on how it is to ease the Parking at U of M hospital, why not at WCC?


Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

AATA's #3 goes to WCC campus, and is frequently standing-room-only in my experience. The #7 also goes to WCC, but I have less experience riding that. So there is existing service, which is well used by students. If I recall, though, WCC made the choice to build a parking garage rather than consider how to better utilize the transit system or additional off-site park-and-ride options, despite students' requests to provide more transit options, and despite the higher price tag of the parking structure. I know we can count on you to decry the wasteful subsidy for auto traffic. (That last sentence was, sadly, in jest.)

John Hritz

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

I guess my question would be, "How much were they paying Eastern for access to their parking lots and a shuttle?" $12.7 million pays for years of lot rent and diesel fuel. It also buffers you from a shift from two-year programs back to four-year schools. Community colleges have been getting a lot of business lately due to the down-turn in the economy and interest in tactical education. Do we think the pendulum is not going to swing back at some point?


Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.



Tue, Jan 17, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

More than one shuttle actually. I've seen at least 3 on camus in previous semesters.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

Only $27,000 per space? C'mon - you aren't even trying, WCC. You should've gotten the Ann Arbor DDA to consult on how to build a "Garage Mahal".

Bob Krzewinski

Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Besides driving to Washtenaw Community College, you can also bicycle right up to it where you wil find plenty of bicycle parking hoops. The College is right on the Border To Border non-motorized trail which is fully open (and off road) between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. For maps and information on the Trail, visit <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

If you are fortunate to live close by, that would be feasible (except during winter).