New commuter lot to be built at Terrace Hall site

Dave Yochum

Parking Services will replace Terrace Hall with a 150- to 175-space commuter lot and new campus bus lane this summer. Midway Drive, the roadway leading to the new commuter lot, will also be widened to accommodate increased traffic flow.

Finances for the lot and road construction haven’t been finalized, but Larry Emling, Parking Services assistant manager, estimated each new parking space to cost roughly $2,500. David Creamer, vice president of administration, said Parking Services will fund the commuter lot, bus lane and road-widening construction, while Residence Services and Parking Services will share the cost of Terrace Hall demolition.

Original ideas for replacing Terrace Hall included a possible parking garage or parking deck; however, adding a surface lot was determined to be the safest, most cost-effective alternative.

“If we were to build a parking deck, each parking space would have cost us around $15,000,” Emling said. “Students already pay a pretty penny for permit fees, so that’s why the decision was made not to build a deck.”

Emling admitted a new parking deck would be nice, but said the idea is unrealistic. He added that constructing a surface lot leaves more options for future building opportunities.

The campus bus lane accompanying the new commuter lot will address safety concerns near Terrace Circle and Midway Drive. Students will be able to board buses away from the main roads while two new turning lanes will help filter traffic.

As the Stater previously reported, the new commuter lot should be open by Fall 2006. Permits for the new lot will not be available until construction is completed.

Depending on the amount of new spaces created for commuters, Emling said Parking Services may turn the lower commuter lot closest to the Centennial residence halls into residence hall parking.

The final construction cost at the Terrace Hall site may increase due to soil variables and grade changes. Parking Services pays for each aspect of lot construction, including the installation of emergency phones and drainage systems.

Tom Euclide, director of architecture and engineering, said the university is not ready to accept bids for the commuter lot, but separate companies will be hired for landscaping and construction. Euclide expects design plans to be available in the coming weeks.

Kent City Council approved replacing Terrace Hall with parking accommodations this past January.

Contact transportation reporter Dave Yochum at [email protected].