In a poll commissioned by the University of Utah about 15 months ago, availability of more parking was one of the top responses to queries about how the school could serve students better.

Every day, up to 26,000 students, most of which commute to the metropolitan university, fight with faculty and staff for 12,750 spaces.Administrators hope a yet-to-be-built multitiered parking structure will ease such concerns. With the blessing of the Utah State Board of Regents, U. officials are planning to seek up to $11 million in revenue bonds soon to pay for a new 514-slot lot near the Rice-Eccles Stadium.

V. Randall Turpin, assistant vice president for facilities, said the university was first authorized in 1997 by the higher-education governing panel to seek $8 million for the five-level structure.

Wrangling about the lot's proposed location in an open, grassy space between the chemistry building and Pioneer Memorial Theater, however, pushed back funding plans and pushed up the price tag.

"It became apparent, as we discussed it more and more, that it was not the place to put it," Turpin said. "It's now placed about 400 feet north of the original location."

But at the new site just north of the Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse, the university will be forced to pay more and dig deeper to move water, gas and electric utility lines.

"We decided that green space, once gone, is difficult to buy back," Turpin said.

David Pershing, vice president for academic affairs, told university trustees at a recent meeting that faculty members "were satisfied" with the site selection.

Now, because the project's cost has increased, an OK from the regents had to be sought again. For the university to use such bonding authority, the Legislature also must give prior approval.

Commissioner Cecelia H. Foxley's office is preparing enabling legislation to be approved by lawmakers. The bonds will be paid with money garnered by the sale of parking passes to faculty, staff and students and event parking charges.

University officials say no state money will be requested from lawmakers for construction and maintenance of the lot, to be located north of the football stadium, future site of 2002 Olympic Games ceremonies.

Turpin said the structure could be designed by architects in six months if lawmakers agree to allow the university to seek revenue bond. Construction, though, wouldn't start until the warmer months, he said.

"We would be looking at next spring as an ideal time to start construction," he said.