By Aly Gibson
The new renovation being made to Olivet Nazarene University’s campus is either going to excite or annoy people. The type of reaction you receive solely depends on whom you talk to. If you are asking an incoming freshman, the excitement may just be palpable. If you are asking me, I am a part of the latter group.
I am fully supportive of taking this already beautiful campus and updating its features. A modernized library? Great. A large, beautifully designed chapel that can accommodate the student body plus the faculty? Also great. Aesthetic walkways and a new top for the clock tower? Even better. But one area that needs some serious help the parking (or lack thereof).
In just the last week, ONU’s largest parking lot for students, and even some faculty and staff, has been quarantined and torn up to make way for the new Rec Center. While I see this new addition as great for future students, the already barely-sufficient parking situation on campus has worsened.
Instead of focusing on building the parking garage first and taking time to completely finish the new North lot, someone jumped the gun and decided to build the Rec Center instead. This forward movement, while benefitting future students, seems to be slightly backwards. It also does not do much for current students.
Women who live in University Place gained access to the almost-finished lot. Yes, it is parking, but the pavement is uneven and unfinished in some areas, only some of the parking lines have been painted; and the exit to Stadium Drive is difficult to discern from the dirt road that runs adjacent to it. UP residents have lost the main entrance out of the complex and are forced to walk anywhere from 10 to15 minutes out of the way just to reach inner campus, depending on how fast they walk. Walking never killed anyone, but I’m sure I am not the only one frustrated with the extra trek just to get dinner or make it to class on time without leaving 30 minutes beforehand.
Putting aside resident students, now commuters and faculty have to accommodate a larger influx of cars in their typical lots.
Spaces reserved for commuters are now being filled to capacity with resident students’ cars that are not as often moved and take up much needed spacing for those who drive the extra mile, so to speak.
Ultimately, I understand that during construction, sacrifices must be made, if only temporarily, for the end result. Yet, I think more preparation should have been given to the parking situation that now haunts the campus.