Plans for a new parking lot northeast of Smith Hall were drafted three months ago, Harold Leeman, Associate Director for Major Projects and director of the parking lot project said.
Approximately 40 parking spaces were lost with the construction of the Brite Building, but the new lot would add 400 new spaces for commuters, faculty and staff after its completion early next spring.
“The biggest thing is really to help TCU and the neighbors get along,” Leeman said.
Crowding on streets close to campus would be reduced with the addition of the parking lot.
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Brian Gutierrez said there were approximately 9,000 parking spaces available in faculty, staff and commuter parking lots on campus and that fewer than 9,000 permits were assigned for those lots. There were enough spaces to accommodate for the number of assigned permits, but some of the spaces were farther away from main campus buildings.
The shuttle system was designed to help bring people to their classrooms should they choose to park farther away from the building, Gutierrez said.
Leeman said he hoped students would be able to park closer to campus with the addition of the new parking lot. It would be closer than other lots that featured the shuttle service.
A few more steps would need to be completed before the construction began, he said.
“We’re working on the paperwork with the city right now,” he said.
Construction would begin sometime in November after the homes on the property were examined for asbestos. Having a professional examination of the homes would ensure the proper disposal of hazardous materials by specialists.
Most of the homes that would be torn down for construction were vacant before the idea of a parking lot came about, Leeman said. Another developer intended to build an apartment complex on the property surrounded by West Lowden Street, Merida Avenue, West Cantey Street and Lubbock Street. However, when those plans fell through, the idea for a parking lot emerged. The apartment complex would not have helped the issue of street crowding and would not be helpful to the community in the same way a parking lot would be, Leeman said.
Gutierrez said two of the homes on the property do have residents living in them.
Graduate student Patrick Keiser said his roommate was contacted by Gutierrez’s secretary, Terry Haney, by e-mail asking if he and his roommates would be willing to move to another location. Keiser and his two roommates agreed after they were offered help with the move and options for places to relocate.
“The move was actually pretty easy,” Keiser said.
He said the move was convenient and movers transferred all of their belongings to their new home in only a few hours.
“I’m happy that they’re getting more parking because it’s something that will make the campus better,” Keiser said.
While Keiser complied with the request to move, other residents did not. Senior marketing major Eric Shulman said he and his roommates wanted to stay in their home.
“The deals that TCU was offering just weren’t acceptable for what we were looking to do,” he said.
One home that was suggested to Shulman and his four roommates only had three rooms.
“The other option was to move back behind Mellow Mushroom and one of our roommates doesn’t have a car, so that wouldn’t be great for him,” Shulman said.
Leeman said Shulman’s decision to remain at his home would not greatly impact construction of the project. The construction would continue around Shulman’s home until the lease expires at the end of May, at which point the home could be converted into the lot.
The construction of the parking lot would not impact surrounding residents, Leeman said. The project would be confined and is not likely to interfere with traffic and parking.
Below is an interactive map of the parking lot.
View New Parking Lot in a larger map