Parking space to become green space

Lowell Nash

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The parking lot between Prothro-Yeager and Pierce Hall sits empty while it waits for construction to begin. The parking lot will be turned into another green space with only trucks allowed access to dropoff supplies to food services. Photo by Lauren Roberts

The parking lot between Prothro-Yeager and Pierce Hall sits empty while it waits for construction to begin. The parking lot will be turned into another green space with only trucks allowed access to dropoff supplies to food services. Photo by Lauren Roberts

The parking lot between Pierce Hall and Bea Wood Hall was closed Friday to make way for a green space and walkway for students.

Dave Lilley, chief executive officer at Trinity Hughes Construction, said construction will not begin until about Oct. 13 and is expected to conclude January 2015.

“That part of campus is a high pedestrian area, but is not attractive,” Kyle Owen, associate vice president for facilities services, said. “When we give tours to incoming students, the tour has to cut across the parking lot. With the new green space that will be eliminated, the students will gain pride in the school and a better-looking campus.”

A portion of the campus road known as Teepee Drive is set to undergo a makeover, being transformed from a parking area and circle drive into a green space and walkway, which will be dubbed “Mustang Walk.” The selected area has already been blocked off with construction scheduled to begin within the next few weeks completed in the spring.

“Looking at the big picture the green space will be great for the campus. I believe people will use it,” Coleman Reidling, sophomore in history, said. “I remember last year when the picnic tables were finished, people were out there that day using them.”

Owen seemed confident that the project will be finished within about three months.

“It will be completed by the spring semester. I hope it will be finished by mid-December, granted it doesn’t rain or cold weather doesn’t creep in early,” Owen said.

The cost of this area beautification is roughly $280,000, of the $300,000 in state funds allocated for campus improvements.

“I have been working with master planners for the past 10 to 12 months to add more green area,” Owen said. “We will concentrate the money on beautifying the campus and have plans for extending this walkway to Comanche Trail.”

Although the campus is set to gain an added amount of green space, the number of parking spaces for students and faculty members will dwindle.

Students who live on campus seem enthralled about the coming of the new green space. While students who do not live on campus are uneasy with the thought of less parking.

Quantez Thomas, sophomore in accounting, said, “More people will be out there to throw around a Frisbee or football.”

Kinsey Walker, senior in psychology, was slightly less impressed with the campus’ newest undertaking.

Walker said, “I just feel like they could have spent money on parking. I get pissed I have to pay for parking and have to park in the church parking lot across the street.”

With parking being such a hot button issue, Owen has taken precautions by hiring a parking consultant to evaluate the parking lots.

“We found that 89 percent of parking spaces are filled Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., but that means there are still places to park. It may not be in front of the building, but places nonetheless,” Owen said.

 

 

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