By Gayle Bustamante
LOGOS WEB EDITOR
University of the Incarnate Word police staff are manning the kiosk at Mission Plaza near the Broadway-Burr entrance during the day and not just at night to better-serve visitors.
The original purpose for building the kiosk was to serve as a checkpoint for residents going and coming on campus late at night. However, with the university rapidly expanding each semester, officials found it necessary to make it available to serve further purposes.
Now expect to find staff in the kiosk daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Sundays and UIW holidays won’t be staffed during the day.
Campus Police Chief Jacob Colunga said with the university growing more, outside visitors come to campus, which was the motivation in adding supplementary hours. Now the kiosk is available to guide university visitors in reaching their destination on campus and providing them with a temporary parking permit for their stay.
“Instead of searching for parking on campus, going to Clement Hall, asking for a temporary parking permit, and going back to their car, visitors can now enter through the Broadway entrance and stop by the kiosk for a permit and find parking,” Colunga said. “This is much easier, especially for guest speakers that professors invite and visitors who help with events who are unfamiliar with the campus.”
The kiosk is also available for students who already purchased a parking permit but may be in need of a temporary pass.
“If a student needs to borrow their parents’ car because theirs is in the shop and they forgot to get their permit, they can also stop by the kiosk and we will grant them a temporary parking pass as well,” Colunga said.
Additional hours for the kiosk do not complete the list of changes Campus Police anticipates, but is currently awaiting a pending city project to take place.
In 2008, the City of San Antonio proposed Broadway Corridor Phase III A (Broadway-Hildebrand Intersection), a $14 million project with objectives of installing inlets along the road to prevent flooding, place an underground box culvert system and mount an additional fifth lane on Hildebrand.
Currently, the project is held in mediation due to several lawsuits by the Headwaters Coalition, River Road Association and the Neighborhood Association.
Despite the project’s setbacks, Colunga believes construction will proceed and Hildebrand will essentially become a construction zone.
Once construction begins, the Hildebrand entrance will close, leaving faculty members and students with the options of entering through at Broadway and Burr or the one-way entrance off U.S. 281.
Construction for Broadway Corridor Phase III A is expected to last approximately a year, but the Hildebrand entrance will reopen with a fifth lane placed in the middle to serve as left-turn-only lanes for students turning into the university and drivers turning into the AT&T entrance.
Lou Fox, special assistant to President Lou J. Agnese Jr., revealed further plans in regards to campus security for the future.
“We have already installed the Cooper Alert System, which serves as a mass notification system on campus,” Fox said. The university plans to install these alert systems in new buildings within the next five to 10 years, he added.
“This is complex but we are also working on our communications network and getting a radio system that connects to Bexar County,” said Fox. In addition, Fox said the campus’ safety committee is talking about adopting a dispatch center, where people can call either the university’s line or police line and a sense of better coordination between the two can be served.
Recently, the university placed delineators along Hildebrand near Dr. Burton E. Grossman International Conference Center in order to prevent drivers from making illegal left turns from the ICC exit promoting safety as well. Drivers heading east on Hildebrand also cannot turn left into the campus
“We have a lot of plans in mind but we need to see where the university is headed and how it is growing,” Colunga said. “We need to consider where space is available and see what projects may come up in the forefront.”