Weary of circling campus for a parking space?
Wondering where you will park when construction fences block your
favorite spot? The offices of public safety and facilities management
are serving up some good news for you: One hundred twenty parking
spaces on the Pratt Hall tennis courts are scheduled to open at
the end of October and be available through this academic year.
The transformation of the tennis courts is one of several steps
being taken to compensate for parking losses during campus construction;
several additional measures are under way to add much-needed permanent
parking space on campus.
to Paul Ominsky, director of public safety, the number of students
bringing cars to campus has risen by about fifty to seventy-five
students per year for the past three or four years--the equivalent
of about one parking lot per year. The resulting shortage of on-campus
parking has led to more tickets for unauthorized parking and complaints
from neighboring residents and businesses about MHC overflow.
It also has been an obstacle in bringing large groups to Mount
Holyoke's conference facilities.
attention, on-campus parking would become an even greater problem
this year, says John Bryant, director of facilities management.
Parking lot closures due to construction have already meant a
loss of seventy-seven student spaces and forty-two faculty/staff
spaces. When science center construction is in full swing, Bryant
anticipates blocking a total of 150 spaces; by fall 2002, simultaneous
construction work at Blanchard, Carr, and Shattuck will bring
Bryant and Ominsky have developed and instituted a three-phase
plan to solve the parking problem, even the congestion created
by multiple construction projects. Their work of phase one, now
nearing completion, was guided by the work of Carol R. Johnson
Associates, the landscape architecture firm that has just completed
a comprehensive landscape-planning study for Mount Holyoke's Campus
Master Planning Committee.
phase one were two permanent lot expansions: An expansion of the
parking lot at Gorse Child Study Center added eighty-one student
parking spaces to the system this fall; a new parking lot at Kendall
Sports Complex added seventy-three faculty/staff parking spaces
this fall. In addition to providing daytime parking for the MHC
community, these expansions provided parking for evening events
and relieved concerns of neighbors and town leaders about the
overflow of MHC cars onto surrounding streets. The Gorse and Kendall
spaces have more than compensated for the spaces blocked by construction
to date: 592 student spaces and 760 faculty/staff spaces are available
this year, compared to 573 student spaces and 744 faculty/staff
spaces last year.
one also included short-term parking measures. In addition to
establishing parking spaces on the Pratt tennis courts (those
courts are scheduled to be removed during renovation of the Blanchard
Campus Center), facilities management located a shuttle lot near
South Hadley's Big Y to accommodate vehicles of contractors scheduled
to work on campus construction projects. Public Safety worked
with the Student Government Association to create a temporary
lottery system that limited to 630 the number of parking decals
available to students this year (814 were distributed last year).
phase two, scheduled for summer 2002, facilities management expects
to tackle expansions of one or more parking lots. Its goal is
to add 120 to 150 spaces by fall 2002, just in time to replace
the 120 Pratt Hall tennis court spaces that will be eliminated
during Blanchard construction. Among those lots under consideration
for expansion are the Dickinson House parking lot, the Pratt Hall
parking lot, the Mary Lyon Hall parking lot (west of College Street),
the Ham/MacGregor Hall parking lot, and the equestrian center
three is a potential phase of parking improvements that could
develop after the Campus Master Planning Committee compiles and
evaluates its various studies about building, landscaping, and
traffic/parking. With the committee's final report in hand, Bryant
and Ominsky again will evaluate parking practices and needs. As
they look into the future of Mount Holyoke's land use, landscaping,
and external appearance, they will propose whatever work is necessary
to continue establishing well-configured, safe, well-lit parking
lots that meet the needs of the entire Mount Holyoke community.
more information about parking, contact the Office of Public Safety
or visit its Web site at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/dps/pkghome.shm.