Column: parking lot continues to close


Brittany Smith

The back row of parking lot C will not be available for public use until completion of phase II of the PAC renovation, which is expected to be done in October of 2020

Nik Cunningham, Sports Editor

A section of parking lot C, in front of the Orr Center, will be closed all day on a few Thursdays and Saturdays because of home basketball games.

Despite the lack of parking on campus, the athletics department thinks this is a good idea, meanwhile students are having a hard time finding a place to park.

Each parking spot will be reserved for key game personnel, players from the other schools playing and members of the varsity club who have paid $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000 to the department.

“It depends on a level like how close you are too but we have our $2,000, $5,000 donors up closer to the building and our $1,000 donors which follow behind that, if that makes sense,” Jon Mark Hall, director of athletics, said. “So $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 donors have some sort of parking at the games.”

At the beginning of each semester, parking is hectic enough without blocking valuable parking spaces. 

In the past, the athletics department has reserved, but not closed off, the area behind the REC and next to the PAC, but since the construction teams are here working on buildings they aren’t able to use those areas.

According to Jon Mark Hall, even when the construction teams leave, the parking lot will be still be blocked off because of where the entrance to the arena was placed, which means that this will be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future and beyond.

“I would say that yes, we would go back to utilizing some of that space, but we would still need to utilize some of them in front of the buildings just a little closer,” Jon Mark Hall said. “Now that the entrance of the arena is a little more to the west than it was before.”

That means the section in parking lot C will be blocked off as well as the space that the construction teams are in.

This will only happen during basketball games because the volleyball games aren’t as well attended.

“The only other sport that we would have been playing in the arena currently would be volleyball,” Jon Mark Hall said. “And I think the dynamics of when that’s even being played makes a difference sometimes too. With the Friday night volleyball matches off, the parking often not has congested out front. So there’s not a demand I guess for priority parking.”

Closing off the parking lot there, in one of the most used parking lots on campus, will only cause students to be late to class or to work.

“I think this is very frustrating because some of the student workers still have to work when we don’t have class,” Mackenzie Hornaday, a student worker here at USI, said. “By the time most of us get to work there are no parking spots and we have to park in the very back. Now I know people will perceive that as don’t be lazy you can walk just fine, but what they don’t see on the outside is that many kids have a hard time walking that far.”