The lower area of Car Park 6 next to the Gateway building on campus will be closed as of Wednesday due to construction works beginning on Monday. It is expected that the car park will be off limits for up to two years due to the construction.
There was already controversy surrounding this particular car park last week when pictures of a mobile office unit being placed in the midst of student parking in that area were uploaded to social media. In that case, KSU Secretary General William Farrugia said that KSU were informed that the reason for this office being placed there was due to works which were to start soon. However it seems like the full extent of the works – and the resultant closure of the whole lower area of the car park – were not revealed back then.
In a press release issued on Friday, KSU said that they were informed of the planned closure by the University last week in the midst of the exam period, with the administration saying that the parking area would be taken up due to the development of a ‘Sustainable Living Complex’, an EU-funded project which will eventually house a number of faculties.
The university advised students that a temporary parking area in Car Park 10 near the Sports Complex will also be extended to compensate.
This project is one of another four which are currently ongoing at University which include the new University Residence, Engineering Labs, the Maths & Physics Extension and the new Sports Complex, and, while students augur these developments, a number of inconveniences are expected in the construction phases of these projects, KSU explained.
KSU said that had the Carpark 6 issue been communicated to the Council or students earlier, such information would have been passed on to all University students much earlier on. Meetings were immediately held with the University administration to postpone the works which were scheduled to start in the midst of the January examination session, until after the examination period to avoid any further confusion during these stressful times for all students.
KSU said that they will further discussions with the University of Malta as well as other stakeholders to offer further alternative mobility solutions to and from University. KSU, with the backing of most student organisations, reiterated the plea for students as well as University staff to use alternative modes of transport as much as possible to get to University as this is the best and possibly the only way to mitigate the problem. The council said that it will also start offering subsidies to the Park & Ride from its Transport Fund.
KSU have been informed by the administration that all students will be receiving an email detailing the closure of the car park on Friday, while works will begin on Monday without delay.
KSU’s Education Office has meanwhile drafted an email which will be sent to all student representatives asking Deans of each Faculty to excuse any students who arrive late to lectures because of this parking issue after an agreement on this point was reached during an emergency student organisation’s meeting held on Thursday night.
The council said that it will be issuing a further statement on what transport alternatives are available to students over the course of the coming days.