EDMOND, Oklahoma - Students at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond are getting up a little earlier these days in hopes of scoring a parking space.

While parking has always been a bit of a challenge, students say ongoing construction is compounding the problem.

“Parking is pretty bad out here,” said UCO student Erik Gonzalez.

“I hear about it every day,” said UCO student Blade Pfeifer.

“It's terrible, there are cars everywhere,” said UCO student Christelma Guzman.

Just two weeks into the school year, students Joshua Dickey and Erik Gonzalez says they've been spending a lot more time on campus than expected.

“I had to adjust my sleeping schedule just to push it back a couple of hours extra for enough time to get a parking spot,” said Dickey

“This week we have to come here at least an hour or two early,” said Gonzalez.

Student Blade Pfeifer says even more frustrating is finding an empty parking space that can be used with the right permit.

“If you’re a commuter, you have to park in the commuter lots, if you're in housing you park in housing, if you're a teacher you have to park in the faculty,” said Pfeifer.  

UCO Communications Vice President Charlie Johnson says while parking has always been an issue, this year has been even more challenging due to the expanding campus. A total of four new building gobbling up previous parking lots.

“We’ve lost about 500-600 spaces to these construction projects,” said Johnson.

And making matters worse, Johnson says the city recently decided to crack down on parking along the university's surrounding streets, limiting student parking for safety reasons.

“Let’s say an emergency vehicle has to get through or something like that so they are enforcing parking ordinances around the campus,” said Johnson.

To help students out, students received an email this week notifying them of some immediate short term solutions.

Johnson also says students are being alerted to open parking spaces via Facebook or Twitter.