New admissions building under way

The bulldozers are back.

In December, the university broke ground on the construction of a new admissions building on the west side of campus, which will occupy a parking lot reserved for commuters.

Don Mills, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said accommodations have been and will be made to ensure that students have places to park.

“We added a number of spots last summer actually over by the condominiums (near Worth Hills off Bellaire Street).and this spring we’re going to knock down the taller of the condominium buildings and build a parking lot in there,” Mills said. “So, when that parking lot is finished we will have almost exactly the same number of spots as are in the lot where the admissions building is going to be.”

He added that originally, the university planned to tear down the condominium in December but was unable to do so.

Harold Leeman, associate director of major projects for Physical Plant, said negotiations are in the works to tear down the condominium building and develop the parking lot.

Leeman said that although the construction may cause some inconvenience, there are enough spaces available to accommodate the spaces lost due to construction.

Although the loss of the Bellaire commuter lot (Lot 8) eliminated several commuter and visitor parking spaces, Leeman said there are other lots under construction on the east side of campus.

“We physically have the three lots getting built on the east side of campus right now,” Leeman said, in reference to a former pastoral care building, the Worth Hills condominiums and the lot occupied by trailers that previously housed the departments of sociology and economics.

“We’re still waiting for some issues to clear to be able to finish up the lot by Worth Hills,” he added.

Mills said the pastoral care lot should be available for students to park in starting Jan. 19.

Despite the inconvenience posed by the west campus construction, university officials agreed that the new building is more of a benefit than a problem to the campus in the long run.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Ray Brown, dean of admissions. “We have had consultants visit our campus who actually specialize in the prospective college student visit experience and the report.always comes back that we have a class A campus and a class C admissions facility.”

Brown said the parking concerns were addressed before construction began.
“This wasn’t a decision that was made last semester,” Brown said. “So the university has been making preparations for things like this with all the remote lots that have been going up.”

Mills said the new admissions building will create an entrance to the campus and become a logical place for visitors to begin their introduction to the university.

“It really enables us to make the kind of impression and presentation that we want to make,” he said.

Although university admissions officials said the structure is much needed, some students said they were inconvenienced by the construction.

Landon Herrington, a senior kinesiology major, said she always parks in the parking lot across from the University Recreation Center because it is convenient and there isn’t another commuter lot as close to the Rickel Building, where many of her classes take place.

“That parking lot was really great for us to pull in there and run into class,” she said, adding that she was 20 minutes late to her first class Monday because she did not know the lot was closed.

Emilee Taylor, an English graduate student, said she also did not know about the lot being closed until today and she ended up parking farther away from campus on the street.

“If there’s a full lot than at least there’s a chance you might get a spot, but if there’s not a lot you lose the chance that you’re going to get a spot anywhere,” Taylor said. “It’s just a little bit more frustrating because it’s completely ripped out.”

In a campuswide e-mail, TCU Police recommended parking in lots 3 and 4 adjacent to West Cantey Street behind the Amon Carter Stadium. Another option is the lot between Kent Street and Mid Court in Worth Hills, west of the new construction site, police said.