New Parking Structure Raises Discussion

Cassie Scott

The construction of a new parking structure in lot T during the summer of 2016 has been stirring up discussion across campus.

Carl Rasmussen, the director of facilities planning and space management, was able to provide many of the planning details.

The new structure will most likely be built in place of the current lot T behind Pray-Sims hall.

“It will provide replacement parking for the lost meter space in lot X,” Rasmussen said.

The structure will most likely take nine to 12 months to construct and will be completed in the summer of 2017.

Lot X currently contains 342 metered spaces. It has not been decided whether to build a three or four level structure. A three-level structure would have 431 spaces and a four-level garage would have 594 spaces. “The three-level garage will be 131 spaces short from what is present now in lot X and T,” Rasmussen said. “The four-level garage will provide a 32 space increase.”

A three-level structure would cost $9.5 million and the four-level would cost $12.3 million. The cost will be covered directly by those who use the parking lots because no state money is used for any on campus lots.

Marissa Harfert, a student who commutes a half hour each day from Wausau, said she uses lot X because it is close to her classes.

“I do not think there will be enough space there and I think it will get very confusing and more inconvenient having some many people trying to park in and out of all the layers in this new garage,” Harfert said.

Not only is there student controversy about how much parking space will be provided, but many worry about the location and the convenience of the new parking structure.

“The location of the new parking lot would be further away from classes making it more inconvenient,” Harfert said.

Student Stefani Strom lives in Stevens Point, but uses lot X if the weather is bad or if she has to drive to work after class.

Strom takes advantage of the location of lot X and isn’t fond of the new location for the structure as a replacement.

“I think it should be located closer to campus like in the lot by the library or natural resources building,” Strom said. “A lot of people drive to class so they don’t need to walk or bike so far.”

The needs of this new structure would mainly be to provide parking for events at the Dreyfus University Center and the Health Enhancement Center. However, moving the structure farther from academic buildings would not fulfil its needs.

Rasmussen spoke at the Student Government Association meeting held on Thursday, Oct. 24. At the meeting he went over every location considered for the parking structure.

Lot T was the only one without conflicting interests and had the least amount of construction problems.

The lot is also close to the HEC and the DUC which are the two buildings closely affected by campus related events in need of parking spaces.

As of now, both lot X and lot T are metered and plans have been discussed for what the new parking structure would be.

“The current configuration is one level devoted to staff parking and the rest would be metered,” said Rasmussen.

Harfert wants the garage to contain parking meters because that is what students are accustomed to, while other students, such as Strom, think that the garage should offer metered spaces as well as spots of students with parking passes. 

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