- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - While more students will be enrolled at the University of Mississippi this fall, fewer parking spaces will be available for them when they arrive.

At the start of the 2013-14 school year, nearly 4,000 residential parking passes were sold. However, fewer than 3,500 residential parking passes will be sold for the 2014-15 school year because of a reduction in the number of parking spaces available, according to Ole Miss officials.

University officials encourage both commuters and students who live on campus to sign up online for a parking pass as quickly as possible Aug. 6, when registration opens at 8 a.m.

With ongoing construction becoming ever more present, students, visitors and faculty alike will have to search for other ways onto campus or pay hefty sums to be allowed to park on campus. However, these pricey parking tags do not guarantee spots will be available.

Visitor parking on campus at the Lyceum Circle is also doubling from $1 to $2 in the coming year, according to the university.

“Our job is to manage what we have to get the most out of it and give options to everyone so they can make the decision that’s best for them,” UM Parking Director Mike Harris said.

Students have a few choices of exactly how they will get onto to campus each day.

The first is purchasing a residential permit if the student is living on campus. The cost is $145 per year. For those who live off campus, finding a spot may not be that easy and commuter parking permits cost $125 annually.

Park-and-Ride permits will be available for students to park off campus at designated locations and be shuttled to and from campus during normal school hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those permits will cost $40 per year.

Metered parking is also expected to be installed near the Manning Athletics Performance Center, where spaces will cost $1 per hour. Coins and credit cards will be accepted at those meters. There is no word as to when the meter installments will be made.

While UM’s first on-campus parking garage was expected to be completed in time for fall classes, the project has been delayed and will not be available to those seeking to park closer to the core of campus.

Once the parking garage, which will have more than 820 spaces, is completed near Vaught Hemingway Stadium, more parking options will be available on campus.

Some 500 spaces there will be designated as timed parking, but anyone will have the option of parking there for $2 for the first hour and $1 for each additional hour, with a 24-hour period costing no more than $10. Credit card payments will be required at the parking garage, according to the release.

The garage is funded through the Athletics Foundation and through donations and by donors buying a reserved parking spots for game days.

Assistant Athletics Director Kyle Campbell did not have any more information to release about the delayed parking garage, but said that donors and the public would be updated as officials knew more.

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Information from: Oxford Eagle, http://www.oxfordeagle.com

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