December 4, 2016

ISB contruction brings parking woes for students

The construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building resulted in the fencing off of Lot L and parts of Lot K near the East Academic Building, H. Sam Priest and the Pearson House. JORDAN PALMER / The Journal

The construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building resulted in the fencing off of Lot L and parts of Lot K near the East Academic Building, H. Sam Priest and the Pearson House. JORDAN PALMER / The Journal

The parking spaces and walkways between the East Academic Building and the Pearson and H. Sam Priest houses are now fenced off as construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) begins.

Webster student Brianna Brown, who lives on campus, said the campus already had a parking problem and the ISB construction only made it worse

“There was limited parking space before. But now with all the construction going on – and they’re blocking off like half of the parking lots – it’s super annoying. It’s unfair.”

Until the building’s construction is completed, a total of 57 parking spaces formerly offered in Lot L and Lot K will be closed off. Upon completion, the 29 spaces from Lot K will reopen, while most of spaces in Lot L will be replaced by the science building itself, Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin said.

“There’s a lot more cars in the parking garage now. It’s harder to find a spot,” said Webster resident Lauren Knicl.

Webster student Chloe Shoulders said she has not run into any more problems than she usually does.

“I have not [had more trouble with parking than normal]. I park in the garage,” Shoulders said.

While for the moment the university is down parking spaces, Giblin said the Park Plaza Parking Garage expansion will give Webster a major boost in parking when finished. He also said roughly a dozen spaces on the east side of the EAB will remain after the construction of the ISB is finished.

Giblin said while he did not know of any current contingency plan for the scarcity of parking spaces, it is  something the university is planning to explore.

April 12 nearly half of the parking spaces in the University Center’s parking lot were also marked off for the day due to Webster’s annual scholarship dinner. According to a Webster University spokesperson, the spots were reserved for the university’s donors who attend the dinner every year.

“The parking lot extension will be completed before the ISB is finished, so the university is gaining a lot more spaces than it is losing in the project,” Giblin said.

The ISB is set to be completed in spring of 2017 and will relocate several departments into one building near the north lawn of the East Academic Building. Since the groundbreaking, the full cost of the building has been estimated at $44 million. This includes furnishings inside the building.

Presently, several areas surrounding the construction site, the East Academic Building, Pearson House and H. Sam Priest House are fenced off. The fences have no signage signifying where students should head. Brown said this was another frustrating part of the ISB’s construction.

“If you have a class in Pearson House, it is very difficult to figure out how to get in. It’s just all around inconvenient,” Brown said.

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