Construction of the new Welcome Center has eliminated – at least for this academic year – a large number of parking spots by the Farinella Gate and the lot under Cabrini Hall.
According to Parking Services, about 150 parking spaces were lost due to the construction.
John Signorello, associate vice president of Facilities and Operations, said the project started over the summer with utility relocations, while footing and foundations will start this fall. The construction is part of the Campus Master Plan, which includes other building projects such as a renovated University Center starting in 2017.
Signorello said the construction of the Welcome Center will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
He added that he does not anticipate the construction, happening next to Cabrini Hall, to be a distraction for students living there.
The project is expected to be completed in January 2018, and will include a parking deck underneath the building. As of now, students are scrambling to find parking and make it to class on time.
Kasey Murphy, a senior biology major and four year commuter, was late to her physics class because of parking delays.
“If they do not figure out a new system during these first few weeks I foresee it becoming a regular problem,” Murphy said. “It was embarrassing to walk into a room of 200 kids late with all eyes on you.”
Kevin Phalon, a senior broadcasting major, parked in the front lots on campus for the past three years because of the convenient location to Fahy Hall. It now takes him up to 20 minutes to find parking.
“I don’t understand why they needed to close the lot under Cabrini when they aren’t building in that area,” Phalon said.
Management adjunct professor Thomas Tarbutton recommend that security guards provide traffic control directing incoming students and faculty to available parking.
“Just like at public event parking you want to fill up the available spaces quickly without having to wonder around the campus looking for a spot,” Tarbutton said.
In response to the frustration, Signorello said, “I think we need to give it some time as this is the beginning of the school year and everyone is working into a new schedule.”
Signorello reminds students, “Improvements are what make this campus great. Look at the improvements with the new Stafford Hall, the parking deck addition, the addition to Aquinas Hall, and the Recreation Center. All were positive improvements to campus and for the campus population.”
But the parking jam remains a problem for students like Evelyn Peregrin, a senior journalism major, who is entering her fourth year as a commuter at Seton Hall.Peregrin said this year already seems like the most frustrating one yet. The reason, she said, is not her classes, but the lack of parking spots for students.
“There definitely needs to be a solution,” Peregrin said, “and the fact that the University hasn’t offered any yet is extremely frustrating.”
Siobhan McGirl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.