OBU opens new parking lots for commuters

Chelsea Weeks, Contributing Writer

This time of year, there is plenty to worry about, school, work, bills, presents, family gatherings and so much more.

However, there is one less thing to stress about on Bison Hill and that is parking.

Oct. 28, newly constructed parking lots became available to commuters, faculty and staff.

There is a new parking pattern, which was just applied Nov. 28.

George Haines, the Director of Facilities Management, commented on the new pattern and how it will impact the OBU community.

“Commuters will no longer be parking in the lot along MacArthur Street,” Haines said.

“They will lose 36 spaces there, but are gaining 41 spaces be- hind Ford Music Hall (shared with faculty/ staff) and 82 dedicated commuter spaces across the street by the Art Annex. There are also 39 newly designated spaces for commuters, faculty and staff available at the corner lot across from Stavros Hall, the former bank building.”

Haines described the process of receiving and construction a new parking lot.

Alyssa Sperrazza / The Bison

“We were approached by Rudy Construction in September 2015 about ways they could donate/ support OBU by providing services to the university,” Haines said. “We needed to provide additional parking and had the property available. Rudy Construction specializes in asphalt and concrete paving so we knew this was a good match for our needs and their services.”

A commuting student, Morgan Knox, a senior double major in interdisciplinary natural science and journalism, commented on how the new parking lots have impacted her.

“The new parking lots have added consistency to my daily schedule,” Knox said. “I no longer have to worry about the commuter parking being completely full, and the parking is much closer to where my classes are located.”

David Shannon, the Chief of University Police, commented on how the new parking lots have impacted the University Police Force.

“The new parking lots have provided more parking for both commuter students and employees,” Shannon said. “This has helped to cut down on citations issued in the Montgomery Hall and Baily Business Center parking lots.”

Shannon also made a clarifying comment regarding which parking lots are for students, commuters or faculty.

“The new parking lot adjacent to the Art Annex is reserved for com- muter students,” Shannon said.

“There are a few spaces in the lot reserved for employees,” he said.

Unfortunately, there have been a few students who live on campus parking in this lot.

“Several warning tickets have been issued and citations will be issued to repeat offenders. I want to remind the students who live on campus to park in the lot at their residence facility.”

Even though construction just ended, OBU is constantly looking for areas to grow, whether in students or parking.

“There will be changes to parking as the university property is developed over time,” Haines said. “We have the temporary gravel lot north of the Lodge and the new lot by the Art Annex is considered a temporary lot. Parking needs and locations will adapt as new construction happens.”

Students have ideas regarding other possible changes to the parking.

“Some covering for cars or maybe even a parking garage would be great,” Knox said. “A few years ago, a lot of students took some serious hail damage during the spring semester, and if there was protection on campus that would be fantastic.”

Either way, these new parking lots have helped everyone in the OBU community.

“I think the new parking lots will help to reduce stress on both faculty and students as well as reduce the amount of parking tickets that are given out,” Knox said.

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