With the construction of the new parking garage and a pedestrian walkway now under way, officials from East Tennessee State University are encouraging students returning to campus this fall to allow additional time for finding a parking space.
Parking will be available, but with the closure of some areas, ETSU Vice President for Finance and Administration Dr. David Collins said some students may not be able to use the same parking lots they have relied on in the past.
“Even on our busiest days during previous semesters, we always had between 100 and 150 open spaces in parking lot 22A, which sits on the corner of Greenwood Drive and Jack Vest Drive behind Earth Fare,” Collins said. “We will rely on that lot this fall, and we encourage students to enter that area from Greenwood Drive rather than through campus. The BUCSHOT shuttle service has four pick-up locations at lot 22A and has multiple drop-off points across campus.”
Persons parking in lot 22A and lot 21, which is directly behind Warf-Pickel Hall, will need to follow a different walking pathway onto campus that goes around the construction site. Barricades and signage will be placed to identify that pathway.
Collins added that ETSU has also created a new parking area at the baseball stadium on University Parkway where students, faculty and staff can park and ride the shuttle to campus. That new parking lot alone will provide approximately 300 spaces.
During the first six weeks of the semester, overflow parking and shuttle service will also be available at BucVillage behind campus off Southwest Avenue.
“Even though we have temporarily lost between 300 and 400 spaces due to the construction, accommodations have been made to adjust for that loss,” Collins said.
He added that students, faculty and staff will need to adjust their driving route now that the center part of campus has closed to traffic. On June 4, ETSU closed the intersection of Alexander Drive and Sherrod Drive at Ball Hall, as well as the intersection of Ross Drive and Sherrod Drive at Sam Wilson Hall. This was done as part of an effort to create more green space and walkway areas and to eliminate vehicular traffic at a location that has a high number of pedestrians. Collins recommended that unless drivers want to access the parking lot between Brown Hall and Alexander Hall (University School), they should avoid entering campus on Sherrod Drive, which is between Brown Hall and the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center and across from the Carnegie Hotel entrance.
Disability parking spaces in those areas have been relocated to the circle in front of Gilbreath Hall and to lot 37, which is between Sam Wilson and Lamb Hall.
ETSU parking attendants will be stationed on campus to assist commuters with information on parking lot occupancy.
Collins said that with the exception of the areas where major construction projects are taking place, other student parking lots, such as those in front of Centennial Hall and lot 9, which is located across the street from Pal’s Sudden Service, will continue to be available.
ETSU broke ground last week on the $26.1 million student parking garage that is scheduled to be complete in fall 2013. Once finished, it will provide approximately 1,224 new spaces.
Collins strongly urges students and employees to visit HYPERLINK "http://www.etsu.edu/detour" www.etsu.edu/detour to view the parking map and read the “Frequently Asked Questions” section.
“The safety of our students and employees is our highest priority, and we ask everyone to be patient during this temporary time of construction,” he added. “Simply arriving early and allowing time for parking will make a tremendous difference.”