With classes resuming and students pouring back on campus, everyone’s seen it: that giant mound of dirt and grit piled in front of Brower Student Center as part of construction for the new Art and Interactive Multimedia building.
While we’ve got no qualms with updating and improving the College campus, the location of the construction only intensifies what has always been a problem at this school: parking.
Taking up a hefty section of the Lot 3 parking lot, the new building will erase almost 200 much-needed parking spots.
For those safely entrenched in the cozy parking garages of Decker and Cromwell halls, parking may not seem like a big deal, unless you’re feeling too lazy to walk to the Rathskeller.
But for those who commute on a daily basis, finding a somewhat close and convenient spot can sometimes seem akin to the quest for the holy grail.
Cars zip up and down Lot 3, searching for an overlooked spot close to the student center, a near impossibility unless you drive over to campus and secure a spot early in the morning. Drivers whip around corners in Lot 6, frantically calculating how many minutes it will take them to make the long hike to Bliss, Forcina or one of the other far-flung academic buildings.
College officials say Lot 6 can handle the traffic increase caused by the construction. Perhaps they failed to observe how tightly packed it has been in past years, before parking spots vanished, when cars would be inching up ever-closer to the fourth and top floor before noon on Mondays and Thursdays, the busiest days for classes.
Not only does Lot 6 have commuters and visitors to contend with, but the residents of Centennial Hall also park in the garage on weekdays.
Officials also say the loss of the spots may help push the College’s green initiative, allowing students to take advantage of public transportation or other environmentally friendly means of commuting, which would be great, if such alternatives existed.
Buses can be seen depositing people in front of the student center, but the times are infrequent, unreliable and often incompatible with classes, not to mention most are used to drop kids off at the movies and Olive Garden, not class.
Sure, students can bike over to campus, an especially appealing prospect during the crisp days of fall, with the added bonus of saving money on gas. Come winter, however, that beautiful foliage fades into cold, ice-slicked sidewalks.
We’re all for progress here at the College. But until some is made in regard to the parking problem, better start lacing up your sneakers and hoofing it.