By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
Students returned from fall break to find fewer available parking spaces and a section of Campus Court blocked off in preparation for construction of the new residence hall across from Brown Library.
Kevin Watson, chief administrative services officer, said in an e-mail that Campus Court is briefly blockaded in front of Edwards Hall to run fiber and phone lines from Edwards to the new hall. He said the street will be blocked temporarily at other times this year as well.
“We will be blocking the street periodically during the construction, but we hope to minimize the number of times as well as the duration,” he said. “We should expect some disruption of traffic flow periodically. We will need to run our water and sewer, irrigation, hot and chilled water lines onto the property.”
The projected completion date for the new residence hall is Aug. 1, 2005, and Watson said construction should begin sometime next week.
He said there have not been many problems with closing the parking lot across from the library, but it will not open again until the hall is completed.
“It is somewhat more inconvenient for some,” Watson said.
Jimmy Ellison, chief of ACU police, said in an e-mail that students have alternatives for parking at other places on campus, like the former Big Purple Stomping Ground north of Edwards Hall.
“This lot holds approximately 223 vehicles and is usually near empty, so it will definitely hold all those who regularly parked in West Campus Central (parking lot),” he said.
He said another option for parking is on Oliver Jackson Boulevard, which runs between the intramural fields and Gray Stadium.
Ellison also added that students and employees should be cautious with all the changes.
“In light of this new construction, I want to remind all students, faculty and staff that with any progress comes temporary inconvenience,” he said. “Parking lot closures, intermittent street closures and other situations will arise throughout the course of this project. For everyone’s safety, please drive safely and cautiously through this construction area.”
Ellison said eventually, all of the hassle during construction will pay off in the end.
“By this time next year,” he said, “we will be enjoying a new, state-of-the-art residence hall, and the inconvenience of construction barricades will be a distant memory.”