More commuter parking coming soon

Llolanda Hernandez, Staff Writer

Construction on a new commuter parking lot west of the Fine Arts Building will begin this spring.

“We have events on campus all the time that are during the week at night and there’s really no place for people in town or other communities to come in and park to go to those events,” Kyle Nelsen, director of Facility Services, said. “That’s the reason we decided on that parking lot at that location for those means. We are also currently on the process of doing a campus wide parking study that should be done this spring. It will look at all aspects of parking, commuters, visitors, where we have opportunities for change and growth in parking.”

According to Facility Services, there are 1,888 total parking stalls at WSC. About 1,524 are used for students, commuters, visitors, and all (sticker) valid stalls. Those include 1,282 student stalls, 145 all valid stalls, 72 commuter stalls and 25 visitor stalls, for a total of 1,524 stalls. The remaining stalls are categorized as faculty, handicapped, reserved, bus or motorcycle. Each stall or lot has different parking times depending on the number and availability. A total of 2,270 commuter and residence student parking permits were issued for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Right now, we have a lot of commuters that park off campus on city streets,” Nelsen said. “It will give them a more central location to park. It will also accommodate our evening events at Peterson, Fine Arts, Rice Auditorium and at the football field for both weekends and during the weekdays. Right now, during the weekdays if we have an event at Fine Arts or event at Rice there’s no place for visitors or spectators to park.”

The anticipated completion date for the lot is mid-August, before fall semester begins. Facility Services manage all projects, including the parking stalls. The pre-phase to the lot will consist of preparing, planning, and accepting bids from nearby contractors.

The 57 parking stalls will be welcomed by students.

“I feel that when I come in the morning there are way too many options that are already filled up for commuters,” Sean Dunn, a senior, said. “If I want to park closer, I have to be here super early just to get around or if I want to be close to class. Otherwise I must go sit in the back 40 in lot 10 and walk all the way over here (Humanities). A parking lot for commuters only would be wonderful. It’ll probably take a big load off my commuting experience.”