Parking seems to be a reoccurring issue among Castleton State College students. They complain every year that there are not enough parking spots, especially when the enrollment of the college is increasing while the number of parking spaces is not.
And since the Castleton campus is undergoing construction this semester, some students believe this too is adding to the mayhem.
“I think the construction is definitely part of it,” said sophomore Michelle Rossman. “But I also feel like there are way more cars here this year. Even Africa (the South Street lot) is filling up all the way. I have been ending up in Africa a majority of the times I have to park.”
The construction that students are referring to is the new residence hall being built next to the Ellis parking lot, which is not expected to be done until late this spring or early this summer.
The construction, according to Assistant Director of Physical Plant Rick Wareing, is currently taking up approximately 14 spots from the Ellis lot and the Physical Plant vans and faculty member vehicles utilize another 20 spots themselves.
But Wareing argues that there isn’t really a parking problem.
“Apparently we have an adequate amount of spots,” he said. “It’s just… people get here late and have to go to Africa… nobody wants to have to walk that ½ mile, but it is available.”
But students say even the South Street lot is filling up and they argue there is a parking shortage.
“I think there are a lot of people having to park in South Street lot. And at times even that seems to be at max capacity,” said senior Allison Mockler. “Construction doesn’t seem to be taking up too much space in Ellis, but some how there still seems to be no parking…maybe there is just an increase of students with cars on campus.”
Despite student complaints, however, Public Safety officers say the problem is not any worse than it has ever been.
Part- time officer, Bradley Adair, who started with public safety as a student officer in 2003, noted that although it is tight due to the loss of some spots, there is enough parking for all students.
“I have worked the day shift for at least four to five years now and there has always been parking issues, and there has been times where there has been more construction going on,” said Adair.
“As for what I have seen on my patrol, which is when it is most likely to be full, it has not been,” he sai. “It is not easy, but there has been places for everybody,” he said.
In a separate interview, Public Safety Director Bob Godlewski agreed with Adair.
“In all honesty, I expected more problems with parking than we have had. It usually takes us a month after the start of each fall semester to get parking under control,” said Godlewski.
He said that while there may be so constraints primarily due to construction that, “some sacrifices have to be made to build something better. Sometimes we just have to work around that.”
Wareing said help is on the horizon for students. He noted that in November, Physical Plant is currently on schedule to move to its new location behind the South Street parking lot, where they will then have their own new parking lot.
“So whatever we leave behind they will get,” he said.
Until then, students have been asked by Public Safety to make due with what they have. And there are a few things that they advise students do to eliminate the stress of finding a park spot last minute or receiving a ticket.
For example, students should pay attain to signage, refrain from parking on the grass, and should plan accordingly by coming to school half an hour or 15 minutes early.
“Otherwise you put yourself in a position to be late or park somewhere that you are not supposed to — and then you get a ticket,” said Adair.
Godlewski asks that until the construction project is completed that students just be patient.
“This is all a process of making this a more beautiful campus,” he said.