Spring Break is approaching next week, and that means that Lot 19, the parking lot beside the Basler Center for Physical Activity, will officially be closed to parking on March 7 due to construction of the football stadium.
The lot closure will affect students who live on campus in the neighboring residence halls, specifically Luntsford and Lucille Clement, and those who frequent the CPA, as well as commuters.
ETSU’s student body is made up of 11,550 students. In that number, more than half of those students are commuters.
Nick DeVusser, a freshman commuter, is looking forward to ETSU having its own football stadium because going to Science Hill High School feels more like a visit rather than a place to host all home season games.
“I’m excited about the stadium because having to go to Science Hill doesn’t feel like home,” DeVusser said, “but I’m not excited because I have a hard enough time finding parking as it is.”
DeVusser commented on how he will even park at the Millenium Center parking garage across campus because he can’t find another spot on campus that is convenient.
Convenience is what students are looking for, and with the construction of the football stadium, it is unlikely that convenience can be achieved. However, even with the construction, there is still technically enough parking for students commuting and living on campus.
David Collins, vice president for finance and administration, recognizes that while losing Lot 19 will affect students, the stadium construction has been planned for a long time now, and everybody knew it was coming.
“We have lot 22 to make up for this loss,” Collins said. “While it isn’t the most convenient, we still have enough for students that need to park.”
Lot 22 is located behind Knights Pizza on the far end of campus. According to Collins, the lot is never more than a third of the way full because of its distance from the main part of campus.
In the meantime, and over the next two to three years that the football stadium is being built, students will have to utilize Lot 22 when going to the CPA and commuting in general.
Potentially, there will be another parking garage built in order to deal with the loss of Lot 19 and provide more parking for football games. However, that will come at a cost (likely increased tuition), and there is nothing definite yet.
The new stadium is exciting and will increase support of ETSU football. However, it is the construction process that has students anxious for it to be complete, with new parking implemented.