Downtown parking gets makeover

A new garage and meters that take plastic

The construction of Chico State’s Normal Avenue Parking Structure has begun, causing a ruckus of dust and demolition in front of the Alumni Hall, one of Chico’s oldest houses, as well as two other historical homes owned by the university. The project will occur over one academic year and is estimated to be completed by September 2012.

Chico State has renewed its lease with the Chico Unified School District of the 270-space parking lot at Sacramento Avenue and Warner Street, which will provide parking for the displaced commuters that would normally park at the Normal Avenue lot. The four-level garage will ultimately have spaces for 359 vehicles, 242 bikes and 11 motorcycles. It will also contain a one-story administrative facility facing Second Street that will house the University Police Department and other offices.

Those parking nearby also will notice a new parking-meter system at the Transit Center lot at Second and Salem streets starting Monday (Aug. 22). Instead of individual meters, there will be a single pay-station kiosk, which will accept coins, bills and credit cards.