Construction kills parking


Matt Smith

AACC students say parking is hard to find on campus, especially earlier in the day when classes are just starting.

Amber Nathan, Editor-In-Chief

AACC students said in September the parking situation was bad on campus.

In an informal poll, 22 of 25 students said the parking lots were overcrowded and sometimes full by 9:30 a.m.

Some said they have been late for class because they spent so much time looking for places to park.

“My boyfriend, he parks in the overflow parking … and it’s such a long walk to campus,” Arianna Ramirez, a third-year psychology student, said.

The construction of the new Health and Life Sciences Building has temporarily closed 206 parking spaces in Lot D on East Campus.

Restored parking will come in August 2021.

In the meantime, Vice President for Learning Resources Management Melissa Beardmore said, “Bear with us.”

Beardmore said the large building under construction on East Campus “is going to be phenomenal. But you have to break a few eggs to make a cake.”

But students said their classes are too far away from overflow parking lots and that they have to get to school extra-early if they don’t want to be late for class.

“It’s kind of crazy,” second-year business administration student Lea Groussin said. “I have friends who literally get their parking spots [stolen] from them. They’re coming at 9:30, and … the parking lot is full.”

“It’s … an actual nightmare,” third-year American sign language student Morgana Hepburn said. “It’s making it so much harder to get to my classes.”

Hepburn added she is unsure whether the stress of parking is worth having the new Health and Life Sciences Building.

“It really will have to depend on how good this building is,” Hepburn said. “If it’s a really great building that’s totally A-plus … I guess it’s worth it. But if it’s the exact same building as every other building on campus, I’m not sure all the stress will really have been worth it.”

Chief of Police Sean Kapfhammer explained the traffic pattern is the best it could be given the situation, and that his department and Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. have taken measures, such as removing a stop sign from Lot C and having police direct traffic, to keep the parking lots clear.

Once the new building opens in August 2021, Joyce Dawson, assistant director of facilities planning and construction, said, there will be a kiss-and-ride area near the gym for those who are dropping off riders, plus 20 new ADA parking spaces.

“If there’s a little pain [for] students now, hopefully they understand the new building is coming in, with a full-service Chick-fil-A,” Beardmore said.
Students may complain to Public Safety, according to Kapfhammer, or make suggestions to improve parking and traffic to Beardmore.