Parking problems: Student housing facility construction begins this March

MIRANDA MARITATO | STAFF REPORTER

Construction is set to begin in early March on a new dormitory as part of President James Danko’s 2020 Vision. The housing facility will be built on the existing Irwin Library parking lot on Sunset Avenue.

Construction is expected to begin March 9.

The start of the construction process will mean changes in parking availability for students and faculty.

Conceptual plan for the new housing facility breaking ground this March. Red represents Irwin Library and blue represents the new housing facility.

Conceptual plan for the new housing facility breaking ground this March. Red represents Irwin Library and blue represents the new housing facility.

“The ResCo lot, holding 44 B spaces, one loading zone, five faculty-in-residence and three ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act], is going off-line in the first half of March,” Bill Weber, assistant chief of police, said.

Sophomore Chelsea Boyce lives in Residential College. With three jobs on and off campus, Boyce holds a B permit and uses her car frequently. She said it is a struggle to consistently find open parking spots behind ResCo.

“One out of the five times I use my car during the week am I able to find a parking spot in the parking lot behind ResCo,” Boyce said. “I usually end up behind Schwitzer [Hall].”

As a result of the construction, Boyce fears her problems may increase.

“More people are going to be parking behind Schwitzer, so that will limit the spots there,” Boyce said. “It would be a huge inconvenience to have to park at Hinkle or the I-Lot. Whenever I use my car, I am usually in a hurry as it is.”

Weber said holders of B permits should still be able to find a parking spot elsewhere.

Those who use the 49 B permit spaces in the current ResCo parking lot will need to use the lots next to Schwitzer Hall and the Fairbanks Center, according to an email announcement made by Ben Hunter, chief of staff and chief of police.

Email announcement from Ben Hunter, chief of staff.

Email announcement from Ben Hunter, chief of staff.

Those with B-permits are not the only ones who will be affected.

One hundred forty-eight commuter parking spaces currently available in the Irwin parking lot will be redirected to the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, according to Hunter.

Weber said faculty and staff accustomed to parking behind Irwin will squeeze where they can, or also be directed to Hinkle.

Installation of the construction fence will be the first step. Fencing alone will take up 20 percent of the Irwin parking lot, Weber said.

Once the new multi-use parking structure on Sunset Avenue is complete, 500 more parking spaces will be added to campus. Delegation for those spots have not yet been determined.

“I have my hopes and wishes like a lot of other people for the parking garage,” Weber said. “I would like to see faculty staff and commuters park in there — commuter students are going to come and go as opposed to a resident student, who might park there and not move for five days.”

The housing facility will cost approximately $42 million after total development and finance charges, Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs, said, according to a Collegian article published Oct. 29, 2014.

The new student housing facility is estimated to be completed by August 2016.

Anne Flaherty, dean of student life, said plans for the new dorm will be further discussed Feb. 20 at a Butler University Board of Trustees co-sponsored evening dinner with the Student Government Association.

The event will take place in the Reilly Room of Atherton Union at 6 p.m.   

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