Columbia State Community College to open new parking garage, eyes fourth building

A new 470-space parking garage is coming to Columbia State Community College's Williamson campus.

A new 470-space parking garage is coming to Columbia State Community College's Williamson campus.

A new parking garage on Columbia State Community College's Williamson campus is only a few more weeks away from opening, according to college officials.

The 470-space parking structure is currently under construction on the west side of the campus, located along Liberty Pike on the east side of I-65 in Franklin. CSCC President Janet Smith said the new garage is expected to open sometime in November, however an exact date has not yet been determined.

Smith said the new garage will help ease the college's parking issues, as several students currently have to park off-campus and take shuttles or walk over.

"The day we opened [the campus] we had to find off-site parking because it was not enough parking for our students," Smith said. "The Franklin [Parks and] Recreation Department has worked with us very well in allowing us to use spaces within walking distance from the campus [and] we've run a shuttle back and forth to that area for parking. Also students are now parking down in the Ovation area and along parking areas there."

Student enrollment for the Williamson campus rose quicker than anticipated, and while a parking garage was in the college's long-term plan for the campus, the need for more parking came sooner than expected, she said.

Smith said students should no longer need to park off-campus and shuttles will no longer be provided, however the college is still expected to keep its partnership with the Franklin Transit Authority, which offers rides to students coming in from other parts of the city.

"They have worked with us and we have routes now that come through the campus. We have 40-50 students that are currently using transit which then assists with our parking but also assist with the transportation problems in the community," Smith said. "We're very appreciative of the way the community has stepped in to work and assist the college in meeting the needs of our students."

Smith said with the new garage nearly complete, the college is turning to plans for a fourth building on campus, which will house new IT and computer programs, art classrooms and a new 150-seat theater for lectures and community events. The new building, currently being considered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, will need to be recommended for funding from the governor's office, she said.
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