With the construction of the new science building in summer 2015, students will see a dramatic change in parking ease and accessibility next fall.
Currently, parking lot X, site of the new building, provides 335 metered stalls used mainly by commuters and campus guests. Because this lot will be lost, parking services will construct lot Y, an 85-space lot near Portage Street and Isadore Street, and will add metered spots to lot T.
Bill Rowe, police chief and Protective Services director, hopes the city of Stevens Point will open additional streets for student parking to alleviate pressure in lots.
According to Nick Meyers, junior communication major who serves on the University Affairs Committee, parking services looked to raise permit prices from $118 to $150 annually and meter prices from $.50 to $.75 an hour for the 2014-2015 academic year. However, this proposed increase did not pass through the committee during its meeting Monday, Feb. 23.
While I appreciate efforts to keep parking cost-effective and alleviate pressure to park in lots, parking at UWSP is a breeze and will continue to be in comparison to parking at other UW campuses.
Many UW campus prices are significantly higher than UWSP. For the 2013-2014 academic year, UW-Eau Claire’s permits range from $111-$227, UW-Whitewater’s range from $125-$250, UW-Oshkosh’s range from $250-$400, and UW-Madison’s range from $838-$1,199.
While UWSP students are generally guaranteed a parking pass, many UW students are not. UW-Madison requires students to meet criteria to be eligible for a permit. Students must either commute from a place at least a mile from city transportation, work off campus three times a week, or have special or unusual needs. Such criteria restrict many students from obtaining permits.
While we may not welcome changes to our current parking situation on campus, we should accept them and realize that parking at UWSP will continue to be much easier and cheaper than parking on other campuses. The loss of lot X will obviously be detrimental, but it will also allow a new science building and improvements for UWSP. That’s well worth the extra five-minute walk to class.