Parking changes on campus affect students

Nathan Curry
Contributing Writer

Parking on Millersville University’s campus can seem scarce for students. Some students blame the shortage of parking spots on the increase of professor parking spots that cover up the student parking spots as a result of construction of residential halls on campus. Students have not been able to cope well with these decreases in parking spaces, but Millersville does have a plan to satisfy the students’ needs.

“Philosophically, you want to build the parking around the outside, around the campus,” says Vice President of Finance and Administration, Roger Bruszewski.

When Millersville University was established in 1855, the university was built around the town and now, does not have the luxury that many state schools like California University of Pennsylvania have with its parking.

Police Chief Pete Anders says, “Expansion of the town, when it was originally built, has made it so that parking is the way it is on campus.”

Starting this year, a reduced parking fee for commuter students was setup because much of the commuter parking has been taken over by the construction workers. Even though the construction crew only takes up less than half of that parking lot, the reason that students are not allowed to park in the lot is for safety measures. The construction team decided that they wanted to use that whole area as a parking lot and entrance for their workers.

Millersville University had a negotiation with the construction company and the company donated $10,000 to give 200 commuter students so that they could have $50 off parking, but this reduced parking pass requires students to park further away from the campus classrooms. If students do take advantage of this reduced parking permit, they can only use the Ann Street and Jefferson Street parking lots.

There were talks about the construction crew getting a bus and parking off campus, but they wanted to be as close as possible to the project in order to meet the strict deadlines.

“Millersville has an agreement with Student Lodging Inc. for a large parking lot on Shenks Lane for commuter parking,” says Chief Anders. “This will open up 150 new parking spaces.” This would make parking more available for commuter students.

Students may notice that many of the parking spots that used to be white were changed to yellow: professor parking.

“We pulled the parking from Stayer and ROTC and reversed them. Student and professor parking spots got switched around,” says Chief Anders. “Students actually gained ten extra parking spots.”

Chief Anders explained the reason for the switch was to group parking together for pedestrian and driver safety; however, he also stated, ”If it were up to me, the employees would park further away from the buildings than the students.”

“I would have our parking more student-centered rather than employee-centered,” said Chief Anders.

Once construction is finished in summer 2015, parking will reopen near the McComsey and Roddy buildings. Currently, we are in Phase II of the three-phase plan for the dorms.

Prior to Phase I there was a parking lot of around 170 spaces that is now being used by construction. Because of this parking issue, Millersville built a new parking lot where, “The Bush,” wildlife area used to be. This opened up about 319 parking spots.

“Near the footprint of where Burrows used to be, near the Phase I project, a new parking lot of 30 spaces or so,” says Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Richardson. “This parking lot provides handicap spots, designated as residential student parking.”

Vice President of Finance and Administration Roger Bruszewski says that by September 2016, all housing projects and parking for each of those buildings will be finished. He says, “Jefferson will be the next renovation.” The project will take place and finished from 2017-2018.

Students may not feel like there are enough spaces around, but the fact of the matter is Millersville University is actually doing something about it. There are more spaces being added every year.

“MU has plans to make Millersville University a walking and bicycle-friendly campus,” Chief Anders says.

Students should not be scrambling to get to class by driving from one end of campus to another. Millersville University was built around the town in 1855, meaning it does not have the luxury of being able to expand as easily as other university campuses.

Next time you are parking and cannot find a spot, simply pick a different lot or one of the garages. There are enough spots for those who need them, even if you may have to walk a little.