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Drivers to battle for fewer spaces

March 6, 2003

By Brandi Dean

Parking tensions on campus will ratchet up one more notch when students return from spring break. The Office of Operations and Facilities has announced that as construction on the North Village Residence Hall begins, three more parking areas will be closed off, resulting in the loss of about 150 parking spaces.

'There is no good news for students, faculty or staff,' Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak said. 'They are all losing spaces. Everyone is going to have to sacrifice, and the word that comes to mind is 'adapt.' If anyone identifies themselves as a creature of convenience, they're going to have a hard time. Truly the early bird will get the parking place.'

The new residence hall construction will expand the area already fenced in for construction of the Dutton Avenue Office and Parking Facility. The affected areas include the lot northwest of Robert M. and Louise Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building between the current construction fence and the loading dock for the building; the temporary faculty lot west of Rogers between the building and the current construction; and M.L. Cooper Drive extending from Dutton Avenue up to Rogers will be closed, including the faculty parking on the north side of George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the parallel student parking along the street.

The operations and facilities office doesn't have an exact figure on how many parking spaces will be lost, as the temporary faculty lot doesn't have designated spaces, but a Lariat reporter counted about 83 student spaces in the area that will be closed. There were 31 faculty spaces in the normal parking lots and 26 cars were parked in the temporary lot at 3 p.m. Wednesday, but it wasn't full at the time. In addition, there were three maintenance parking spots and three delivery parking spots, for a total of at least 152 fewer spots.

Rick L. Creel, assistant vice president for operations and facilities, said he realized the lack of spaces was going to cause problems, but the expansion of construction was needed to keep the North Village on track for a fall 2004 opening.

'We ask for patience during the next phase [of development for the North Village], as some parking will be displaced and routines may be disrupted,' Creel said.

In addition, Creel said the parking lot between Truett Seminary and Castellaw Communications Center would be closed beginning May 15.

Doak said there were no other areas on campus that could be opened for parking relief, though there have been discussions of opening the visitors parking by Wiethorn Visitors Center to faculty.