Letter to the Editor: “I found a space in Lot… oh wait, this is Irwin!”

We have all heard the jokes and wisecracks that began on our very first day at Seton Hill University (SHU) about a topic that is really no laughing matter: the parking. But recently, the issue has worsened and has now become that our campus is simply “bulging at the seams” with no sign of letting up. We’re full, we’re out of room, and we’re maxed out. It’s becoming a big problem for our small campus.
SHU has truly grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and has really become a great university. We have an amazing faculty, we offer a plentiful array of programs of study, and it was all founded upon the great tradition that began with the Sisters of Charity. With all of that considered, is it any wonder why we have such overwhelming numbers that apply each year? We’ve got a great thing here and the word is spreading.
However, we’ve hit a roadblock and it’s one that should be taken on and not just skirted and dealt with later. Our classrooms, residence halls, and parking lots are full. The classes fill up quickly at registration times, we’ve converted small lounges into dorm rooms, and the closest available parking space is “in Irwin.”


By Jeffery Donnelly,
Contributor
We have all heard the jokes and wisecracks that began on our very first day at Seton Hill University (SHU) about a topic that is really no laughing matter: the parking. But recently, the issue has worsened and has now become that our campus is simply “bulging at the seams” with no sign of letting up. We’re full, we’re out of room, and we’re maxed out. It’s becoming a big problem for our small campus.
SHU has truly grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and has really become a great university. We have an amazing faculty, we offer a plentiful array of programs of study, and it was all founded upon the great tradition that began with the Sisters of Charity. With all of that considered, is it any wonder why we have such overwhelming numbers that apply each year? We’ve got a great thing here and the word is spreading.
However, we’ve hit a roadblock and it’s one that should be taken on and not just skirted and dealt with later. Our classrooms, residence halls, and parking lots are full. The classes fill up quickly at registration times, we’ve converted small lounges into dorm rooms, and the closest available parking space is “in Irwin.”
When I first came here, Farrell Hall had just been completed, the McKenna Center was a perimeter of blocks and some piles of dirt, and DeChantal was still being mowed. But what hasn’t changed in that time is our parking lots. Parking Lot A has been resurfaced and looks fantastic. Lots B and C could use some attention in terms of the road surface. Lot D is, well lot D. Some call it Jeanette, some call it Irwin, and others call it lot Z or infinity. The problem is that they’re all full and there are still cars that circle endlessly in search of an empty space.
Before we erect another residence hall or sports arena, perhaps we could invest in a parking garage. The structure could begin with its foundations and lower levels in what are now lots B and C, and progress upward and conclude with its uppermost level opening onto existing lot A. In future years, the same could be accomplished on the back side of Brownlee Hall, facing the beginning section of lot D, thus providing parking for Brownlee and Farrell residents. With that, lower garage levels could be for residents and upper garage levels for commuters and faculty, while still having all of lot A as it exists.
If objections to a parking garage would arise due to the detraction from the physical appearance of the campus, it could be constructed using similar design and materials as the new McKenna center, so as to blend in with the historic structures that exist.
Perhaps the construction of a parking garage is a little out of reach at this point, but that doesn’t say that something shouldn’t and couldn’t be done about the existing parking problems and the problems of being overcrowded in general. It just requires some creative thought and even to “think outside the box” from time to time.
This is important and it needs to be addressed before even more students are admitted. SHU should already have places for people to live, learn, and park before they even get the chance to apply here.
The demand for our university is high and the lines to get in are getting longer. We need to continue moving forward and upward to meet that demand. The whole SHU experience could be broken in two parts: learning and living. The learning experience is superior. Now, the SHU living experience needs to rise to meet its counterpart.
-Jeffrey A. Donnelly, a senior
View this writer’s profile.

Post a new comment

Your email will not be published.
Submitting comment...