Empty area by Gooch will be new parking lot
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 17:09
Most people are wondering what is going on with the empty lot that’s next to Wendy’s and Rodeo, with it being roped off for a few weeks and then construction work taking place.
The reason for this is that someone bought the property and is planning on making it a parking lot.
Joe Robert “Bob” Hunt, a UTM alumni, had been looking into buying it for some time and just recently purchased the deed for the property.
The plans for this space are to make it a pay-to-park lot and put an ice machine there. At the ice machine, someone can purchase a 20 lb. bag of ice for $2. Also being put in are more lights so that the lot will be well-lit and more safe. Another thing that might possibly be added to the lot is an ATM machine.
Currently, students can park at the lot for free but the deadline for free parking is Sept. 30, 2012.
Hunt said that there would be approximately 25 to 30 parking spaces once everything is finished.
This lot will be similar to the parking already established on campus, where students buy a sticker and park. However, this will be a place that, once a person buys the sticker, it is guaranteed that no one else can park there, and if someone does park when there without a sticker, he or she will be towed.
With the growing number of commuter students and with construction going on around campus, finding a parking place is hard to do.
According to Desiree McCullough, Interim Director of Institutional Research, the number of commuter students has increased and decreased since 2008. From 2008 to 2009, there was an increase of 157 students. From 2009 to 2010, there was an increase of 545, and from 2010 to 2011, there was a decrease of 154 students. All of these numbers were over 3,000. Last year, there were 3,642.
So far this semester, according to Public Safety Police Captain Ray Coleman, approximately 2,700 commuter stickers were issued, and there are still a few spots available.
“[Overall], we have over 3,000 parking spaces designated for commuter use,” Coleman said.
However, these spots are not guaranteed to specific people like the new lot will be.
“A pre-paid parking space in this lot will assure you of a space that you can use all day or leave and return to as you desire. Our son is a student, and we understand the need for parking where one can leave to go to the library, go to the student center to eat, and then return with an assurance that a parking space is reserved for their return,” Hunt said.
The price of the sticker is probably one of the first things on students’ minds.
Hunt said that for the remainder of Fall 2012 semester, he will ask for $125. Starting next semester, the price will be $200. According to Hunt, this works out to be $2 a day per semester or $500 a year. However, Hunt is still considering pricing and wants students’ opinions.
To express an opinion, ask a question or assure a parking spot, call 731-885-4763 or 731-446-9483, send a letter to P.O. Box 662 at the UC or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want a spot, he asks that you include your name, address and email address, so he has information to mail out car stickers.