New parking garage to greet returning students Jan. 22
Contact: Christina Chapple
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SURVEYING THE NEW GARAGE – Surveying the new parking garage adjacent to West Strawberry Stadium, which will open its first three floors to upperclass commuter students on Jan. 22, the first day of classes for Southeastern Louisiana University’s spring 2008 semester, are, from left, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jim McHodgkins, President Randy Moffett, Vice President for Student Affairs Marvin L. Yates, and Student Government Association President Chris Barcelona
HAMMOND – When classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Southeastern Louisiana University students will be greeted by more than just new class schedules and professors. They will also find new places to park as the university parking garage makes its debut.
The first three floors of the new garage will be open to upperclass commuters as of the first day of classes, university officials said.
Located on Western Avenue adjacent to West Strawberry Stadium, the garage has been under construction for the past year after being funded in fall 2005 by a Student Government Association sponsored referendum, a federal transportation grant, and university funds.
“It’s a nice addition to the campus,” said President Randy Moffett as he looked over the facility early this week along with SGA President Chris Barcelona, Vice President for Student Affairs Marvin L. Yates and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jim McHodgkins. “The parking garage has been something that students have wanted for a long time.”
Barcelona agreed. “I’m really excited that it’s opening,” he said. “This is going to provide a lot of parking in the middle of campus for upperclass students.”
Yates said the three floors will initially provide about 300 new parking spaces. The fourth floor will remain closed in order to use it as a construction staging area for the in-progress renovations to Strawberry Stadium.
When construction is fully completed this summer, the garage will provide approximately 450 parking spaces and amenities such as restrooms, an elevator and concession stands.
Meanwhile, McHodgkins said students will also be able to reclaim some of the parking spaces surrounding the new garage, which were temporary fenced during construction.
Another parking-related service – the new “Lion Traxx” shuttle – will be rolling in full force when the third shuttle bus arrives in February, McHodgkins said. The shuttle, which loops through campus from the University Center to the parking garage, began running with two busses last semester and was enthusiastically received by students. During the fall-spring semester break, two covered bus stops were added at the University Center and D Vickers Hall.
“I’m sure we’ll have some kinks to work out as we begin using the garage this spring, but the addition of the garage and the shuttle service is definitely going to have a positive impact on parking, which has been a persistent issue with our students,” Moffett said.