Campus construction creates need for more parking

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    As construction continues around campus, the university is taking steps to try to make parking less of an issue for students.

    Harold Leeman, director of facilities planning and construction, said TCU has approximately 8,600 parking spots on campus, which is over 3,000 more spaces than the 5,200 spots required by the city of Fort Worth.

    In late July, TCU bought Fisher More College, at the corner of West Bowie Street and Lubbock Avenue, with plans to tear the building down and use the lot for parking. The lot, which Leeman said he thinks will be ready around mid-November, will yield around 250 parking spots strictly for commuters, faculty and staff.

    Though the current plan is to turn the Fisher More College into a parking lot, Leeman said it is unclear how long the space will solely be used for parking.

    "It's much better just to create parking, and then that opens a big flat space for construction once we get to that," he said.

    Leeman said if the money can be raised, the Sandage parking lot may be the future home of the School of Music.

    Although Leeman said TCU is on track to expand campus parking in the future, current conditions for commuters are not ideal.

    Of the 8,600 places to park on campus, only 2,500 of those spots are on the east side of campus, where the majority of commuters park, he said. To help ease commuting to class from the parking lots, students can take a shuttle from lots 3, 4, and 12, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    While the shuttle service is an effort from the school to fix the parking issue, one student said he considered it a hassle.

    Daniel Auffenberg, senior entrepreneurial management and marketing double major, said the shuttle service looks good on paper, but it does not operate as smoothly as it should.

    "Two times I've parked in the new Sandage lot due to a lack of spots in the other lots, and both times the shuttle caused me to be late for class," he said. "I try to avoid the lots with shuttles as often as I can."

    The university’s ongoing campus construction has also been a hindrance on student parking, Auffenberg said.

    "Since campus renovations started up again last year, I've had to leave for school 15 minutes earlier to account for any construction related issues," he said.

    With four current construction projects, the increase of workers has created a shortage of commuter spots, Leeman said.

    "Linbeck [TCU's current construction contractor] has one hundred parking passes for their workers that are parking in commuter spots," he said.

    Workers are allowed to park in commuter lots because it is important to give the workers priority parking, said DeAnn Jones, coordinator of parking and transportation services.

    "In order to facilitate the ongoing construction at TCU, we had to make parking arrangements for those who work on these projects," she said.

    Fortunately for commuters, the number of construction workers is set to decrease in the next month, hopefully opening up a few more spots for students to park, Leeman said.