A temporary solution for the parking problem at University has led to many complaints because part of the sports facilities on campus ended up being turned into a car park. The decision was taken by the University management in agreement with the KSU, after a large part of the main car park at the University cannot be used because work has started on a building which will house various faculties.
There was great disappointment among athletes and people who do physical exercise at the University’s football ground and track after this ended up being changed into a car park. Sports Medicine doctor Kirill Micallef Stafrace, who teaches at the University, expressed his frustration at this decision.
”We are always going on about the need for more physical exercise and then at the place where there is supposed to be more knowledge, we do something foolish like this.”
The sports community is also upset because the space for physical exercise has continued to decrease with more cars coming in and out on the athletics track which is used by many people for jogging and walking.
Students who are parking at the football ground said that this temporary measure was necessary, even though it has not solved the parking problem.
The Pro-Rector of the University Carmen Sammut and the President of the University’s Students’ Council, Carla Galea, defended this decision because the ground can still be used by athletes after 6pm. They added that they are also seeking other solutions.
Prof Sammut said, “we have already started discussions with Transport Malta so that apart from the park and ride in Pembroke, we can open other park and ride facilities for students and University staff.”
KSU President, Carla Galea said, ”together with the University we will be coming up with a more holistic plan where this problem will be better acknowledged.”
Meanwhile the University’s architect, Christopher Spiteri said that the University is investing in a 25 million euro sports complex on which work will start this autumn, which will include various facilities such as underground parking for 900 cars.
“There will be a full-size football pitch with artificial turf. There will be an 8 lane synthetic athletics track. There will also be a new building for the Institute for Physical Education in Sport, and facilities for the School of Performing Arts. There will be an indoor athletics track which can analyse movement while students are running and facilities for sports medicine.”
Mr Sptieri said that the project is expected to be completed within two years.