The competition for parking spots will heat up Monday with the start of Summit.
With the loss of about 360 spots to construction, students, faculty and visitors will have to adjust to the lack of parking space.
“It will be tough, and it will be frustrating for some, but I still think we have adequate parking,” said Jimmy Ellison, chief of police.
Of the lost spots, 305 stem from the impact of the track stadium construction. However, 170 of the 305 spots, which will be gone permanently, are not considered a huge loss, Ellison said. These are spots that were rarely used on a day-to-day basis, but will most likely affect big events such as Summit.
“During the large-scale special events is when we’re really going to feel the pain, and Summit is going be our first painful experience,” Ellison said.
In addition to parking on campus, visitors will have access to shuttle services. Guests may park at University Church of Christ and Hillcrest Church of Christ. The shuttles are run throughout the day bringing visitors to campus, helping to alleviate parking stress.
Lack of parking is not something Brady Bryce, director of ministry events and assistant professor of practical theology, thinks will keep attendees at bay.
Summit draws people in from all over the state, community and the three Abilene universities – Hardin-Simmons, McMurry and Abilene Christian.
Bryce said about 1,000 to 1,200 people register to attend, in addition to students and faculty, but many people attend who do not register.
This year, Bryce plans on incorporating new aspects to Summit, including more student speakers. Regardless of the turnout for Summit, Bryce is confident in this year’s speakers’ abilities.
“I intend for people to leave from Summit thinking about how they’re going to live differently as a person, as a human being and as a Christian,” Bryce said.
With speakers drawing guests in from various places, Ellison encourages the ACU family to remain flexible throughout Summit and through the rest of the parking and construction situation.
“I’d like to ask for everyone, like we always do when we have special events on campus, not to take parking frustrations out on our welcome guests,” Ellison said.