The university spent $46.5 million to build the new Student Activities Center which opened this semester. Students gawk at its immensity and modern design, and then sit down to catch their breath after hiking across the 239-acre campus to actually reach it.
However, when the pair of widowed alumni that donated to the building, Ellen Student and Betty Activities, went to tour the grounds Student experienced a minor heat stroke and collapsed on her walk from the Alumni Center south of the baseball field to the SAC adjacent the music school.
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Activities fanned the unconscious Student who was lying down on the brick laneway. Halfway between the SAC and her Lincoln Town Car parked at the Alumni Center, Activities’ un-replaced knee began to tremble contemplating either hike. Activities then dropped a pin from her gold-encrusted iPhone 7 and UMPD arrived within seconds and revived Student with smelling salts.
“This is absurd,” Activities yells on her iPhone. “I spent millions of my dead husband’s money on this complex. And what, I can’t even walk there?! This is ridiculous. I want my money back and then I’m going to invest it in a Caribbean island and instigate a new drug trafficking ring.”
Once Student awoke, she too reneged her contribution to the building despite never having actually completed the trek. The building will just be called The Center now.
Owing contractors over $40 million, Donna Shalala devised a new plan to pay off the debt: Lake Osceola will be drained and filled with concrete to build a parking lot. While normal pink, red, and yellow parking passes costs over $500 a year, this new blue zone parking costs $2,500. It is to ensure only the most elite students receive the best parking. That lot boasts extra space between cars, outlets to recharge batteries, and a projector to play old black-and-white movies during class breaks.
The lot has the extra convenience of being directly next to the new The Center –or The C as students are endearingly beginning to call it– and The C has the extra convenience of looking out onto a sea of European sports cars.
The University of Miami once created the man-made lake in order to sell their limestone to the company building the Rickenbacker Causeway. The product is the lush oasis conveniently in the center of campus.
“Those were tough times after WWII,” Shalala says over a cup of oolong tea. “We did it once and it made this beautiful lake and we found a way to stay profitable. Now we will fill in that lake, make it ugly and bring the campus back to its roots (and then of course clutter it with emerald Bugattis and canary yellow Masseratis).”
Note: Students without the blue parking permit will not be permitted to cross through the lot on their walks to class, the library, or The C. Especially freshman in living in Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges.