DORAL (CBSMiami) – It was back to class Tuesday at Miami-Dade College’s West campus for the first day of the Spring Term.

This was the first time classes were held at the campus in Doral since the partial collapse of a parking garage on October 10th which killed four workers.

Students who went back to class Tuesday recalled the day of the tragic accident.

“I had a flashback of when I was here. I saw the bears and the flowers so it there was a little soft spot in my heart,” said Rafael Valle.

The parking structure, located at 3800 NW 115th Avenue, was being built by the Ajax Building Corporation at a cost of $22.5 million. The garage was just two months from being completed when a section of it collapsed.

After the collapse, the 8,000 or so students who go to the school were assigned alternate sites for their courses including MDC’s North Campus and Kendall Campus along with Ronald Reagan Senior High School.

Parking is still an issue at the campus and students were encouraged to park at nearby International Mall and take a shuttle bus to campus.

“I’m very upset because they never sent us an e-mail and I did not know that I had to park at International Mall so now I’m going to be late for my class,” said student Alejandra Cardona.

Some students, however, took their chances and parked nearby.

“I parked four warehouses down,” said student Kassandra Rodriguez. Tow trucks were seen in and out of surrounding parking lots, towing cars.

As far as the plans for the parking garage that was being built, school officials must wait for the investigation into the garage collapse to be completed before proceeding.

It’s not known yet whether they plan to salvage what’s left of the parking garage or demolish it.

Students have mixed feelings.

“I’m just really scared of parking there. I’d rather they rebuild it again to make sure that all the bolts and all that is good because you don’t know if anything else got damaged in the process of that,” said Rodriguez.

“I think demolishing it is a waste of time and money because considering the wait we’ve already had, to wait again for them to demolish it makes it more of an inconvenience to park even farther,” said Valle.

Officials say the cause of the collapse is still unknown and the investigation could take another three to four months.

Students with questions can contact MDC-West’s Student Services at (305) 237-8000.


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