New residential halls expected to rise on top of two parking lots on the east side of campus

By Grace Reinhardt

The construction of two new residential halls will remove two reserved permit parking lots on the east side of campus, across from the Neeley School of Business. As the student population continues to grow, the residential halls are expected to open in the fall 2024 along with a new dining hall.

Some students worry this will cause issues with parking. 

“We’ve looked at those lots and we’ve found that we’re going to displace 208 people, but we have enough parking on this side of campus to absorb that,” said Adrian Andrews, vice chancellor for public safety. 

Public safety officials are considering making the lot on the east side of Merida Avenue a reserved lot. That would push faculty and staff farther out to the lots marked as “P” in the diagram below, Andrews said.

Diagram courtesy of Adrian Andrews, vice chancellor for public safety. 

“Those additional lots west and north of the new residence hall construction will more than accommodate the displaced parkers,” Andrews said.

There are 9,500 total parking spaces on campus, but only approximately 7,500 permits were issued this year according to Andrews.

Students who drive to school have still expressed commuter parking issues on the east side of campus, as these lots are the closest and the most convenient distance from the majority of academic buildings. 

“We may need to bring back our shuttle service if we are going to ask young people to park their vehicles on the west side of campus, they may need transport back and forth,” said Andrews.

But there are multiple available commuter lots on the west side of campus only about a 15 minute walk from the east side.

Commuter students who don’t want to walk often scrounge for parking spots during the rush before class starts.

According to Andrews, the busiest time for the east commuter lots during the school week seems to be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Andrews advises worried commuter students to try to find parking early. “Instead of stressing out about finding a parking space, arrive early, walk on our beautiful campus and that will alleviate a lot of the problems,” Andrews said.  

Students are coming up with their own solutions to parking strains.

“For students that need to make it to the class on time, I would say talk to someone who you know in your first class and see if they’re  a commuter who would carpool,” said Josh Haupert, a fifth-year vocal music education major and commuter.

This story was originally published on Oct. 12, 2022