Gravel lot still unpaved, frustrating for commuters
The fall semester is in full swing and for many students the first thing they will notice about campus is the parking situation.
One of the largest parking lots on campus, the upper parking lot located above the Science Center, has already had some work done in anticipation of the upcoming school year. According to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Sim Ewing, more work is already being planned.
Ewing said that the work required to get the parking lot to the condition it is in now was much more than initially anticipated. The lot had to be undercut and built back up with stabilized lifts. A new drainage system for the lot was also installed. Drainage problems had been one of the major issues with the lot before, causing many of the problems it faced. With these renovations completed, the parking lot now has a completely new foundation to work with. Compacted aggregate was also lain in order to provide the surface that currently exists. Now, Ewing said, they will watch for settling in the lot “to see if there are areas which we need to provide additional compacted aggregate to.”
The current plan of action is to fix any issues that might arise in the parking lot this school year and then completely pave the lot in the summer. “Part of this will depend on the revenue which comes in to replenish the account after this extensive work,” Ewing said. “We wanted to make sure that the foundation was built correctly and to make it more usable this year than it was last year.”
While there have been budget cuts in several areas at the college, this does not affect the parking renovations as that money comes solely through parking fees. In regards to possible increases in the cost of parking permits, Ewing stated that there was not an increase this year and that he would not expect there to be an increase next year.
While improvements are being made to campus parking, many students believe that there is much more to be done. Several students said that while they are happy to see the renovations on existing lots, they believe that there still is not adequate parking in many of the areas where it is needed most. According to, Sophomore Brian Hamilton said that often there simply is not enough parking spaces in the lots near many of the buildings, forcing him to park in odd or distant areas.
Other students though, have taken issue with the work that has been done so far, seeing it as not enough. Junior Joshua Stephens said that his biggest concern is, “that we started classes again with the parking lot unfinished.” Stephens went on to say he feels that work is always being done on the lots, but projects never seem to be finished. While increases for parking fees are not currently being discussed, with a high demand from students for more parking projects, this could change.