Parking Services makes campus-wide improvements

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Summer Kent Stater Construction of the Manchester/Fletcher parking lot on July 17, 2015.

Eric Poston

Students who park in campus parking lots can expect to see some improvements this semester. 

Several of them were made this summer in preparation for the Summit Street project, which is expected to begin soon.

Parking Services Manager Larry Emling said the biggest change students will notice is the addition of 50 spaces behind the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which was a $1.1 million project.

Emling said the Rec has talked about needing more spaces, especially during the spring semester for several years now.

“By doing this now, one of the things we were looking at is that once the Summit Street project gets underway this academic year, we are going to lose the front section of the rec lot for six to 12 months while they are putting in the roundabout,” Emling said. “So adding the 50 spaces throughout other areas of the lot when that gets lost at least we will be at a break even situation instead of a net loss.”

He also said once the road project is complete, and the front section lot reopens, the area will have a net gain of 50 spaces.

In addition to adding these 50 spaces, about 20 spaces were added to the R-7 Bowman/Satterfield lot, which is primarily for faculty staff. Emling said the lot serves a lot of staff who work in nearby buildings and the lot is heavily used.

“Allowing us to expand that lot just barely meets the needs of all those people and has helped to elevate some of the congestion up there,” he said.

Other projects this summer included resurfacing the R-15 lot behind Cartwright Hall and resurfacing the R-6 Manchester and Fletcher lot. There was an issue with some underground water lines under the Cartwright lot that weren’t discovered until the new asphalt was placed.

The asphalt was buckling, so crews had to fix the water line issue and then fix the portion of asphalt in the lot.

“We have been getting well over 10 years in many cases. Well over 15 years out of a lot,” Emling said. “We do annual maintenance on all the lots to try and keep them up to extend the life and we have been pretty successful of that.”

Emling also mentioned that there are no lots on campus that are in dire need of mill and replaced, as the university does a good job maintaining them. All lots are on a three year rotation of cleaning, crack fill, sealing and stripping.  

Students on campus have mixed reactions to the current parking situation, but most are concerned about the impacts the upcoming Summit Street project will have.

Junior business management major Erin Liggett said parking really is not as bad as people say.

“The only real issue I have is the price, especially when I cannot find parking in a lot that I paid all that money to park in,” Liggett said. “I had to buy a C All pass because there were no Campus Center passes left the very hour that junior parking opened up. I didn’t want to risk being left without a pass if I was put on the wait list.”

Junior advertising major Megan Angelo said getting the parking spot she wants means arriving earlier.

“I have to get to Kent early so I know I have a parking spot even though I paid good money for a parking pass,” Angelo said.

Kent offers approximately 11,500 parking spaces and has 70 lots throughout campus. 

Contact Eric Poston at [email protected]