A very sad B Lot sign. Photo by Lauren Hough.
MEGAN DRAKE | OPINION COLUMNIST | email@example.com
It’s no secret that Butler has a shortage of parking. For students living on campus, the only options for parking are I Lot, which feels like miles away from campus, and B Lot, which fills up quickly each year.
As someone who frequented the treacherous steps to I Lot last year, I have an idea on how to resolve our parking dilemma: bulldoze useless buildings. So, here is my silly little opinion on Butler buildings we should demolish, rebuild or renovate in order to add more B Lot parking.
5) Phi Kappa Psi House
I am very aware that this is quite controversial; however, you have to start somewhere. The parking lot between Irvington House and Fairbanks Center is small and cramped. So, tearing down the Phi Kappa Psi house could allow the pre-existing parking lot to be expanded.
Now, I’m not saying Phi Kappa Psi should be shut down, but do they really need all the space? Beta Theta Pi does not have a house, and they have a larger fraternity than Phi Kappa Psi. So, why not downsize?
Carli Molinari, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major, thinks that the outcome of demolishing Phi Psi’s house is huge.
“I think we could just bulldoze it,” Molinari said. “Because well, you’ve just doubled parking. Simply 75 more parking spots for B Lot.”
I think it’s quite simple. No Phi Psi house means more parking for everyone.
4) Dugan Hall’s top two floors
While I might not be a business major, I can tell you one thing. Dugan Hall is huge. Dugan Hall is a lovely 110,000 square foot building. That’s a lot of space; however, I’m not thinking we should get rid of the entire building — just the top two floors.
The business school can stay on the lower floors, and we can put a small two story parking garage on the top of Dugan Hall. With a ramp going up the side of the building, the top two floors of Dugan Hall will easily become a parking garage. While it might be a little noisy, shouldn’t business majors be getting used to city traffic sounds for their future careers?
Junior pharmacy student, Tim Dahill, talked about how Dugan Hall is not the most beneficial use of space.
“I know the vision they wanted for Lacy was for a business-style environment and classrooms even though right now it’s mostly admin offices,” Dahill said. “So I think anything that they can do to utilize that space would be even better,”
Dugan Hall is close to Fairview House and Residential College, making it a convenient and safe place for residents to park their vehicles. The top two floors of Dugan Hall becoming a parking lot would be a great addition to campus.
3) The president’s old house
The construction of a new $4 million house for Butler’s president has been a hot topic of campus discussion recently. With those discussions, the question of what is to be done with the old house has arisen.
Sam Jones, a sophomore vocal performance major, talked about what should be done with the president’s old house.
“Maybe instead of making it a historical building like historical Ross Hall, we can make the old president’s house into a B Lot,” Jones said.
The university and its donors are spending insane amounts of money on things that will mainly be used by faculty and administration. If we tear down the president’s old house and replace it with B Lot parking, so many students could be benefited.
Dahill agrees and says how Butler should be able to spend more money on things that the students can use.
“If they can put $4 million toward a new house for our president, I think they can definitely make more parking for the students,” Dahill said.
Just think of how convenient it would be to leave Fairview or ResCo and only have a short walk to your B Lot parking spot where the president’s house is currently.
2) The scary basements around campus
If you have ever been in the basement of Jordan Hall to turn in your employment paperwork or to the basement of the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building, ResCo or Gallahue, you understand what I mean when I say they’re scary. There are many basements around campus that students avoid going to because they’re scary, poorly lit and unused — which is exactly why they would make great B Lot parking.
Molinari thinks that putting B Lot parking in the basements of buildings around campus is a great way to use the space, make the basements more utilized and benefit students.
“You can just drive yourself under your building, and you’re good to go,” Molinari said. “Like it’s right there for you. You don’t have to worry about snow. You don’t have to worry about rain.”
Using the underground areas around campus is only renovating and using spaces we already do not use to their full potential.
1) Ross Hall parking garage and food court
Speaking of scary and unused spaces around campus brings me to the final and best idea: a new and improved Ross Hall.
Dahill talks about what Butler could do to add more B Lot in replace of Ross Hall.
“I think if they really wanted to make a big project with it, they could do parking garage slash restaurant area, which would be amazing,” Dahill said.
Bulldozing the current Ross Hall and building a large parking garage, where the first floor is a food court –– sounds like a campus attraction to me.
A parking garage on top for students with B Lot passes and a food court with restaurants on the first level could really be life-changing for students. Not only would parking be close and a safer walk than I Lot, but there would also be new food options on campus.
Molinari agrees that a new parking garage in place of Ross Hall is the best option.
“We could just tear down [Ross Hall], rebuild and we should put like Jimmy John’s or like a Chick-fil-A or something down there,” Molinari said.
A short walk to your car, a Jimmy John’s sandwich and no scary unused Ross Hall sounds like a great plan to me. Students would be frequenting that parking garage even if it was not to move their cars. So, for those reasons, I think a parking garage with a food court on the first floor, is the best demolition idea to make more B Lot parking.