Board of trustees approves parking lot expansion

Student Government Association President Nick Lang gives his report of SGA at the board of trustees meeting today. Lang said he is glad the administration has taken student concerns into consideration and planned to create more parking spaces.

Today, UNA students are one step closer to easing parking woes as the board of trustees approved phase one of parking expansion on Circular Road.

According to the resolution, the parking lot — an expansion of Lot O behind Flowers Hall — is the first project in a series of parking expansion attempts the university will complete by 2018.

“It’s a three-phase approach,” said Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter.

He said phase one is to tear down some of the university apartments, then expand the lot. The project requires the demolition of all bi-level quadruplex university apartments on Circular Road.

“Right now there are 155 parking spaces in Lot O,” Carter said in a previous interview. “We’re going to increase that to 565.

“We’ll come back after that is done with phase two, which is building the nursing building,” he said in today’s board meeting. “Then phase three, once everything is done, is to come back and redo the pedestrian walkway. Circular Road, in likely two and a half years, will be closed.”

The cost of the first phase is $1.3 million and will begin with the demolition of said university apartments in June 2016.

In a previous article, Carter said the budget for the project was about $2 million. However, the university had excess funds from the residence halls which they could put toward the new lot.

“We’ll lose about $65,000 from what we generate now, but (those apartments) are not quite fully occupied,” he said.

Student Government Association President Nick Lang said while he will not see the project completed in his time at UNA, he thinks it is a step in the right direction.

“This is something students have wanted for a long time,” Lang said. “The fact that the administration listened and made it a priority is something I can’t commend enough.”

Lang said he has worked closely with administration to convey students’ thoughts and wishes, which he feels the resolution reflected today.

“Students should be excited for this and the direction we’re headed,” he said.