After returning from fall break last week, students had the opportunity to see the continued progress on the various construction projects around campus, some of which are already benefiting students and faculty.
The biggest change, and one that left many students feeling relieved, was that the upper commuter parking lot, located above the Science Center, was freshly paved with new markings to designate parking spaces.
Previously, the lot had been mostly gravel with no way to distinguish where cars should be parked. The lot is now much more even and is much safer for smaller cars, which previously had to be cautious when navigating the holes and dips in the parking lot.
According to Sim Ewing, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, the parking lot was paved in order to finish the project that began during the summer. The project was intended to provide more maintainable parking conditions for the campus community, and now features 230 commuter parking spaces.
According to Ewing, after listening to the concerns presented by the Student Government Association and the rest of the student body over lack of quality parking, the administration made renovating the lot a priority.
Commuter and SGA president Shannon Walker said, “The parking lot is great and just proves that when the students come together to voice concerns the college takes action to meet those needs.”
The restoration of the parking lot was funded by the increased parking fees and supplemented with private funds due to the large scope of the project. The subsurface, drainage and gravel base portion of the project was completed over summer break, and then the final stage was completed over fall break with the paving.
As for future parking projects on campus Ewing said, “We are looking at other projects, but will have to build up cash as parking is a cash-only project.”
Another improvement is the continued progress on the walkway and new parking area near Bowers-Sturgill Hall. The soon- to-be parking lot located towards the rear of the building has now been cleared more with the foundation laid for future pavement. There has also been more noticeable work completed on the walkway located to the right of Bowers-Sturgill Hall, connected to the Winston Ely Health and Wellness Center.
Progress also continues on the new library construction as they continue the work on the outside of the building in preparation of the upcoming winter weather. The construction project, which now noticeably looks more like an actual building, continues to remain on track for its expected completion in May of 2016.