A couple of weeks ago, the Board of Governors approved the design that the Master Plan will be based off of. That’s fine, it looks awesome and I’m glad to see effort put into wanting to improve the buildings that most desperately need attention, like Popplewell, which is falling behind on being able to provide technology-based learning.
Seeing a new amphitheater for Potter Hall was a surprise, but still great for their expanding programs. Additionally, it is great to see a separate building for the business department because it is probably the fastest growing and most successful degree program on campus. The necessity for a new basketball arena, expansion to the Baker Fitness Center and Spratt Stadium I would still debate on, but that’s a separate issue and there’s no denying that athletics always trumps academics in this country now.
Anyways, while all those additions are great and I think they should happen, my concern is the logistics of parking. Yeah I know, big shock someone is complaining about parking, but we are a commuter school and if the Master Plan goes ahead as planned, the campus will be losing parking spaces.
According to the plan, lots E and F will be covered by two new dormitories and a bigger lot will take the place of lot C and the overflow lot (If you’re not sure of where I’m talking about, take a look at the map on page 2). With lots E and F being used primarily for residential parking I would assume the new lot would be for the new dorms. So what happens to the general parking spots from lot C? They disappear.
An easy solution to this; invest in a parking garage. Look at other campuses that do have garages for their students and staff to utilize like Mizzou, UMKC or Missouri State. It could be put either where lot C is or, better yet, on lot I by Spratt Stadium and the GISC for people that are attending games have plenty of room to park for football, soccer and basketball games.
With how packed full our parking lots have been the last couple of semesters, something will have to be done to improve parking. Since a good majority of the students live off campus and with growing numbers of enrollment, it’s only a matter of time before this really becomes a problem and, most likely, there will only be a short-term solution put in place. I’m only hoping that Missouri Western will take a more proactive approach to these kinds of situations and not wait until it’s a problem to decide to do something about it.