April 27, 2015
Four Diamonds will no longer provide parking for students once the spring semester ends and summer begins.
With the construction of the Ent Center for the Arts, the new Visual and Performing Arts venue, in the current Four Diamonds area, the only Four Diamonds lot that will remain is the overflow lot, lot 580.
New parking will be added to accommodate the loss of spots. But not before the start of fall semester 2015, when construction of the new parking should be finished, said Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation.
All of the current Four Diamonds parking will permanently close, expect for lot 580. Bus pickup and all parking for the summer will be in lot 580.
Four Diamonds’ summer closure, expected May 15, comes as a surprise to some students.
“Are you serious?” asked Charlotte Gilner, senior international business major.
Gilner parks at Four Diamonds and will most likely be taking summer classes. She believes the new parking lot construction may be done by fall semester.
“They might be, just because they know how important it is,” she said. “But the construction here is never really on top of it.”
Andrew Schips, senior anthropology major, said the closure won’t affect him over the summer, but it will if it carries into the fall semester.
If construction isn’t completed on time, lot 580 wouldn’t be able to handle students in the fall semester, according to Spice.
“There’s no question they have to be done, period,” Spice said. “Brian Construction knows first day of fall semester, we have to have parking. They’re very comfortable and confident in saying ‘it will be open fall semester.’”
Lots 576 and 574, the main Four Diamonds lot and the lot at the intersection of North Nevada Avenue and Eagle Rock Road, will be gone. Lot 573, near the ROTC building, will remain, but with limited access, said Spice.
He added that there will be a lane open through the construction that will give access to lot 573, although access to Eagle Rock Road will be closed.
The new parking will include a net gain of around 200 spots, according to Spice. Some of these spots will be permit, most likely orange.
“There will be a very small portion. A parking lot that will be in front of, directly in front of VAPA. I believe it’ll be about a 45 or 40 space parking lot, and most of it will be handicap parking,” he said.
Parking and Transportation does have backup plans in the event construction isn’t completed by fall semester.
“We’ve got Freedom Financial Expo Center’s backup parking, we’ve got the gravel parking where the construction workers are parked, we can take over that,” Spice said.
But this isn’t a plan without issues.
“We’ve always kind of kept it as an emergency reserve. The problem is we have to run shuttles [to Freedom Financial Expo]. That’s the difficult thing,” he said.
“We’ll do whatever we have to do, but again, we’re all very comfortable in the fact that everything will be open at Four Diamonds,” Spice said.