New Parking Garage Plans Needed for Growing Campus
Any person who steps onto the campus of Liberty University can see evidence of Liberty’s rapid expansion. Construction projects are spread across the grounds, and cranes decorate the skyline.
The loud beeping, whirring and clanging of construction machines has become the natural ambience of the Liberty experience.
Most students grin and bear the inconveniences of constant expansion by telling themselves, “Well, at least this means that Liberty is growing a lot. That’s a good thing, right?”
I typically find it interesting to see the ways that the campus has grown and morphed since I entered the grounds as a bright-eyed freshman. However, my interest in the growing campus quickly turns into aggravation and disdain whenever I try to find a parking spot.
The parking situation on campus is dismal. Have you ever tried to park in the LaHaye Parking Lot at Green Hall around dinner time? These days, I don’t even try.
I’ve lived on East Campus during my time here at Liberty. Particularly in the Square, finding good parking is a challenge, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard that there may be plans to build a new parking garage on East Campus.
“On the updated map, a ‘future arena’ and ‘future parking garage’ sit on the site of the current Doc’s diner and its parking lot. The area is on East Campus, near several residence halls and across U.S. 460 from the campus bookstore,” the News & Advance said in an article about Liberty expansion.
I remember pulling into the Square one sunny morning and looking for a parking spot. There was not a spot in sight, but as I approached my dorm, I noticed one glorious, empty spot located directly in front of my dorm. I was so happy. Maybe I wouldn’t have to walk from far away after all.
I approached the parking spot, ready to pull in when out of nowhere a car raced around the corner. The tires of the car screeched as it swerved into my golden spot, and it skidded to a stop.
My mouth dropped open in disbelief at the time, but this is now the general behavior I have come to expect when I have to search for a parking spot. Good, convenient ones are limited; therefore, the demand is high.
With the addition of a parking garage on East Campus, there would be a lot more parking spots to go around. Additionally, the parking garage would offer the most benefit for commuter students.
According to Liberty’s website, 46.1 percent of students are commuters. This new parking garage would hopefully offer them a cheaper option for parking that is closer to the Main Campus area.
As the campus grows, more parking is needed, but one of the toughest decisions is where to fit more parking spaces into the tightly gridlocked composition of campus. In my opinion, the current Doc’s Diner parking lot would be the best location to put another parking garage, at least on the east side of campus.
The charm of East Campus comes from its location. It is nestled on the side of Liberty Mountain where there is an abundance of nature that makes the East Campus experience relaxing. My screen saver on my computer is still the view from my quad last year. From our window, we had a perfect view of the entire campus, and every evening, we were able to see the beautiful sunsets Liberty is blessed to experience.
It would be hard to put a parking garage anywhere else on the east side of campus without ruining the view that the students have come to love so much. By planning to put the garage on top of an already existing parking lot, the atmosphere of East Campus will not be further compromised by construction projects.
I would not be opposed to plans to erect yet another parking garage somewhere on campus in the near future, but with these current plans, Liberty is making a good step forward in making sure that the growing student population will have somewhere to park in years to come.