90 parking spaces lost as building construction begins

University officials have closed parking lot H on campus and portions of lot B in order for construction crews to begin breaking ground on the new academic center on campus.

Parking lot H is located between Rogers Hall and the Raburn Wing of Keller Hall near the Court Street entrance to campus. In addition to lot H, portions of parking lot B, a faculty parking lot near the Harrison Plaza entrance, will be closed for construction.

Approximately 90 parking spaces were taken away when officials closed the lot and portions of lot B Aug. 9, said UNA police Chief Bob Pastula. He said 30 parking spaces would be opened in the parking lot near Appleby East and West Residence Halls to help ease parking.

“Access to parking at Rogers Hall will be limited, and entrances and exits will be one-way,” officials said in a release. “The university is preparing (to) replace the spaces at parking lot H with a new lot at the corner of East Irvine and Seminary streets, pending city approval.

“The campus community will be notified soon of alternative parking locations both on and off campus.”

Officials recently demolished three houses on the corner of East Irvine and Seminary streets to add parking spaces after the loss of the 90 that will be taken away when construction begins. 

The proposed lot should be completed by November, Pastula said.

Many colleges and universities around the country do not allow freshmen to park on campus, but UNA won’t do that soon, Pastula said.

“We’ve talked about it, but that’s not an option at this point,” he said.

Freshmen are currently required to park in off-campus lots near Darby Drive in Florence, but soon that lot will be closed because of a Walmart Market store going in, Pastula said.

Officials are working to alleviate the loss of that parking as well.

“I am in talks with some of the churches in the area and (I’m) seeing if they will help us out and let us park in their lots,” Pastula said.

SGA President Will Riley said SGA members are working on creating a plan to implement GPS systems on the shuttle buses so students will know where buses are.

“We are definitely aware that it is an issue, and one recommendation I would recommend to students is to take the shuttle bus,” Riley said.

Riley said he understands why the university is taking parking away to add buildings, and that’s why SGA is working to improve the parking issue.

“Just try to do your best to get to the shuttle bus, because with our enrollment and having more students, this issue is not going to get better,” Riley said.

Pastula said students who need more information on parking can visit the police department or www.una.edu/police.