Construction restricts Recreation Center parking


Construction workers work in the parking lot outside of the Recreation Center on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.

Taylor Kerns

Students looking to get fit after winter break returned to find the task just a little more difficult.

The parking lot at the corner of E. Summit Street and Ted Boyd Drive, the smaller of two lots available to patrons of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, closed prior to the start of the semester. The closure is part of a $17.5 million effort to improve traffic flow on the E. Summit Street corridor — the most congested area in the county, according to Kent superintendent of engineering Jim Bowling.

The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, which grades traffic conditions on a scale of A to F, rated the stretch of road an E.

“Right now, it’s being used as part of the construction,” Bowling said. “The intersection will be modified and turned into a roundabout, which will require the parking lot to be modified, too.”

The larger lot has been unaffected.

“It’s kind of annoying, because I can’t take my car and park there,” Rachel Walsh, freshman finance student and recreation center patron said.

“Or I just don’t drive,” she added.

“It’s awful,” freshman -pre-nursing student Hannah Schwendeman said. “We drive around forever trying to find a spot.”

Bowling said that although it will be changed, parking at the location will be available once the project is finished. Construction is scheduled to be complete in December 2017.

Taylor Kerns is the parking and transportation reporter. Contact him at [email protected].