November 29, 2020

Webster plans to expand parking in new master plan

An extension to Webster’s current parking garage on Garden Avenue is a high priority in the proposed master plan’s timeline. When the garage was constructed in 2001, it was designed to have an attachment.

The master plan estimates a future parking demand of 2,200 total spaces — 425 additional spaces. The garage expansion will add 825 to 900 spaces. A design for the addition is already done. Webster is in the process of negotiations with Nerinx Hall High School to acquire property at the edge of the garage.

When Webster looked at the garage extension three years ago, Gunderson said the cost was in the $3 to $5 million range. He said he imagines the potential cost today is similar to that range, but they will know more when they start the building process.

Loren Douglass, senior and undergraduate representative on the Master Plan Steering Committee, presented on parking issues at Delegates’ Agenda in fall 2010.

“For most students it’s not an issue of not having parking, it’s an issue of convenience and not having parking right by their building,” Douglass said. “At the end of the day, the parking we do have now serves this population adequately.”

Douglass researched parking for Delegates’ Agenda in 2010 and found that while parking can be tight sometimes, it is sufficient.

Nicole King, junior, was the commuter council Student Government Association (SGA) representative for two years and presented on parking issues at Delegates’ Agenda with Douglass. Currently, King lives close enough to walk to school. However, she drove 30 minutes to Webster her freshman year.

King said she never had difficulty finding parking, but thinks the issue was finding convenient parking. She said building additions such as the East Academic Building (EAB) make the garage a convenient place to park.

“The new EAB has really changed the dynamic of parking,” King said.

Douglass said the location of the garage makes sense.

“When you’re trying to build your campus and build new buildings, and green spaces, moving parking to the exterior of campus just makes sense,” Douglass said. “It makes for a better on-campus environment.”

King said giving parking attention in the master plan will make students feel better — especially because more than 80 percent of Webster students are commuters.

Click to read about the master plan’s relocation of the art building.

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