CU seeks to create more parking

photo by Tiffany Martinez

story and video by Tiffany Martinez

Cameron University is in the process of trying to create a new parking lot on the northeast corner of campus. The vacant lot is just north of 27th Street, between A Avenue and B Avenue.

Vice President of Business and Finance Glen Pinkston is confident that this change will benefit the CU students.

“If we follow through with our plan as it stands, we should get about 47 new parking spaces out of the new lot,” he said. “We wish we could get more than 47 spaces out of it, but it will be helpful nonetheless.”

Vice President Pinkston went on to explain the importance of working with the city of Lawton during the creation process.

“Twenty-Seventh Street is a city street so we have to work side by side with the city to design the best parking lot, and crosswalks, for the university and the community,” he said.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/38448719[/vimeo]

According to Vice President Pinkston, the art, band and communication students were kept in mind while proposing the idea to rezone the vacant lot, as a number of these students had been parking along A Avenue and B Avenue and walking across the 27th Street to their classes — often carrying heavy equipment or assignments.

“The safety of our students is our main concern, and the traffic along 27th Street has increased greatly since we closed University Drive,” he said. “We received some comments from students— especially the art students carrying portfolios quite a distance— requesting a closer parking lot to the buildings around the Fine Arts Complex.”

Another reason why Vice President Pinkston believes this section of campus will be the perfect area for a new parking is the allure of the University Theatre.

“Big events at the theatre bring in the crowds,” he said. “More parking is needed.”

The limited parking on campus has been a concern of faculty as well as students.

“During the first couple weeks of school, parking is usually really tight,” Vice President Pinkston said. “The staff and the students are aware of it, so we’re taking all the steps necessary to have this new parking lot built by the time fall classes begin.”

There are more prerequisites to building a parking lot than one may think. In this case, the first three steps have been taken successfully: creating a binded plan for the new parking lot; having the plan approved by the Planning Commission for the City of Lawton; and requesting the approval of the City of Lawton Council for a “change of zoning” in the area.

Vice President Pinkston explained the monetary prerequisites that will be met once the parking lot is finished.

“By the time we put in sidewalks and address some of the city’s concerns about pedestrian crossing on 27th Street, it will probably cost us anywhere from $120,000.00 to $125,000.00,” he said. “It’s not unusual for parking spaces — when you are building a bunch of them — to cost anywhere from $2,500.00 to $3,000.00 each.”

Vice President Pinkston also said the costliness of these parking spaces is credited to the expense of asphalt, curbs, drainage, lighting, and occasionally required fences. The price of the project can only be estimated as of now, but bidding will be widely advertised before it begins.

“We will meet all requirements before we build this parking lot,” he said. “On a project this size, several people from the University work on it. We do this to ensure that we can think of everything possible to make sure the project is carried out properly.”

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