The lot where the new parking garage will go currently only has room for about 200 cars. The new structure along Grand River Ave. will hold 730 cars.
Many East Lansing city leaders and police say the new garage will not only help ease parking congestion, it will make the surrounding roads safer.
"The accident rate in that part of town in unacceptable," said Mike Rice, deputy chief of police for the East Lansing police department.
But this is not the best use of the university's resources according to Melanie Foster, who was the only one of eight board members to vote against building the garage.
"These are very difficult times, we have to be very careful with how we spend our funds," Foster said.
Foster said she doesn't see why the university couldn't work out a deal to use a nearby parking facility that already exists.
"[The city of] East Lansing has a parking structure two blocks away which is never full," she said.
Officials said construction is scheduled to start sometime around spring break, if the Michigan Department of Transportation gives its final stamp of approval.