By LAURA TAYLOR
On Tuesday March 27 UMW Parking Management began to prepare for the renovation of Willard Hall by closing the faculty and staff parking lot behind Monroe Hall. The UMW faculty were notified of its closure sometime around March 13.
“The construction company will need area for equipment for the work and trailers to haul off materials from the interior of the building,” said Jean Elliot of UMW Parking Management. “This closure will reduce faculty and staff parking in the Monroe lot.”
Although the closure affects the number of parking spots available for faculty and staff who utilize the lot, other parking accommodations have been explored Elliot shared.
“While faculty and staff parking has been reduced by 20 spots in the large Monroe lot, the Sunken Road parking area and the Alvey parking deck will accommodate the overflow with over 50 spaces regularly available,” said Elliot.
Some of the professors, staff, and faculty that work in Monroe Hall are not affected at all by the lot closure.
“I walk to work, so the closure doesn’t really affect me one way or the other,” said History and American Studies professor Will B. Mackintosh.
For students who utilize the parking deck, some are finding the added congestion of faculty cars difficult. As a result,some students have been unable to find parking, some students on the other hand have not seemed to notice the increase number of cars.
“There are already not a lot of spots during busy times,” said senior math major Shannon Haley. “When I want to go to the gym, sometimes I can barely find parking.”
Senior Emily Keehan shared these sentiments as a commuter student.
“Nope, I have not noticed a change in available spots at all,” said Keehan. “Faculty and staff now occupy the top level of the parking deck which was off limits to commuters.”
Other UMW students that utilize the parking deck for shorter periods of time also notice little to no difference in the increase number of faculty vehicles parked in the parking deck.
“The lot closure really does not affect me as I cannot even park on the upper deck anyways,” said senior Taylor Williams.
For those who walk behind Monroe Hall, the sight of construction equipment, fences, supplies, and construction vehicles fill up the closed parking lot making the scene less pleasant and inviting to walk through.
The Monroe Hall parking lot closure closed off 10 spots in total for faculty parking options amd there are other locations for those faculty members to park minimizing the stress on students who are now sharing even more parking options with faculty.
The parking lot will reopen as a faculty and staff parking area when the renovation of Willard Hall finishes in 2019.