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New lot to help parking situation

Alexa Palacios
Staff Writer

A new parking lot is yet another addition to the growing list of capitol projects in the pipeline.

With $1.3 million price tag, this new lot should be nothing short of technologically forward.

The planned 380 parking spaces, a single day parking option, traffic counters and safety stations are a few of the features this lot which will occupy the area that is now the Ben Hines Field, southeast of the new dorm structure.

“It will be three times the size of any other lot we have on campus,” said Chip West, senior director of central services and capital planning.

“We really want to make this lot a safe and usable first option for students, faculty and staff to park in the fall,” West added.

The new parking lot will be built in place of the Ben Hines Field, southeast of the new residence hall currently being constructed and south of the Campus Center.

“The most important feature is the 380 parking spaces,” said the University’s executive vice president Phil Hawkey. “There will be access to the lot on Second Street, and the main connection is going to be through B Street.”.

The lot will also include handicapped parking and 20 minute parking for faculty, students and staff.

Another feature will be an expanded security system for the lot including a “blue light safety station,” or a safe spot for anyone on campus who requires it.

“Since we’re building the lot and tearing that area to install the lot, this is the best time to install the electric stations,” Hawkey said.

The University is also negotiating with the city to shut down First Street so that traffic from the school will not spill into the neighborhoods.

By shutting down First Street, there would be no access to B Street.

The school is planning on building a fence that will wrap around the First Street area to urge parking on campus and not in the neighborhood.

“The final decisions fall with the City Council and we expect it will probably happen in early May,” said Hal Fredericksen, director of community development for the city.

“This new lot will be a place where the students and the faculty will want to park because it is central, and not to mention the fact that it will be convenient to students living in the new residence hall.”

Alexa Palacios can be reached at alexa.palacios@laverne.edu.

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