By Nathan Ham
The west side of campus at Appalachian State is certainly looking a little different these days with construction equipment, site fencing and closed off parking spaces.
Construction is underway on a pair of new student residence halls as well as a parking deck on the former location of Winkler Hal that will add to the amount of parking available on campus.
Appalachian has started providing updates throughout each month on what is currently happening with construction and what is about to begin.
Site fencing has sent up around what is currently being called Building 100 and Building 20 and fencing has also been put up around Duck Pond Field, continuing up Stadium Drive and Jack Branch Drive.
Some parking spots are also being blocked off as part of the construction process.
“The parking and traffic folks are handing out flyers to students and others that are trying to park in the Stadium Lot, to let them know what areas are good to park in,” said Matt Dull, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations. “They’re also out there just trying to make sure that everyone is able to safely navigate the change in traffic pattern down at the parking lot.”
With a few dry days recently, construction crews were able to finish the grading for the new parking deck and begin pouring the concrete footers, which will be important to get done by the time the fall semester starts considering the loss of the parking spots in the Stadium Lot.
The 475-space parking deck is supposed to be finished by August.
“For the fall of 2019, we’ll be back up to our parking count for that Stadium Lot area, so students who are used to parking in that Stadium Lot, the stadium parking deck will now be available for students starting this fall,” said Dull.
Dull added that for current spring semester students that have a Stadium Lot parking spot and cannot find an open spot, they are allowed to park at the Greenwood Lot as well as the Baseball Stadium lot.
“I would suggest people budget a little bit of extra time for themselves, get to campus a little bit early so you can find a parking space, and also if you do need to use one of the backup lots, like Greenwood or the Baseball Stadium Complex Lot, that you’d actually give yourself enough time to take the AppalCart down the hill,” Dull said.
Pedestrian traffic has also been affected by the start of construction, particularly with sidewalks and walking areas by the Duck Pond.
“We’ll continue to be removing sidewalks and other small structures within that construction fencing that folks see in Building 100, 200 sites, Duck Pond Field and Stadium Lot. That’ll continue going on in the next couple of weeks as we get ready to actually start building the foundations of the new building,” said Dull.
Dull added that there is currently a plan to add a temporary pedestrian path through the construction areas to help west campus dorm residents to navigate their way across campus.
“We will be painting a pedestrian path through the site to help residents of Eggers and Bowie, up on the hill above the Stadium Lot, safely make their way towards campus,” he said. “That’s been a request from a few students so we’re going to be putting that in as soon as we get a couple dry days. That’s also to help people that are parking in Stadium Lot to have a nice, clear path marked out on the ground on how to get to the rest of campus.”
Photos by Ken Ketchie