New Parking relocated on UPJ campus

New Parking relocated on UPJ campus

The basketball court near the Student Union was to be converted into a parking lot.

Brandon Zeris, Managing Editor

Pitt-Johnstown administrators have canceled plans to build an upperclassmen parking lot at the site of a basketball court  near the Student Union.

Instead, a parking lot is to be built near the Nursing and Health Sciences building, adding roughly 20 spaces, which is to be completed next fall.

The lot construction, which was proposed last fall and scheduled for completion in October, met little resistance, likely because parking has been a prevalent complaint from students, according to Student Senate President Cliff Maloney.

“Last spring the (Student Government Association) completed a survey in which the No. 1 campus issue was parking,” Maloney said. “Students have wanted parking near the center of campus.”

Maloney said that, while plans were being drawn up, the Nursing and Health Sciences building project was being finalized.

Because both projects would require significant excavation, cost-cutting initiatives were examined, Maloney said.

“After consideration of costs, we decided that adding parking behind the new nursing building was a more cost-effective job, while still completing our initial goal,” he said.

Parking has been a prominent UPJ issue, and, given that this year’s freshman class is the largest in five years, some students may have problems finding a spot.

Freshman Devon Romanko said he often has problems  finding a parking spot, especially on Thursdays when he arrives at UPJ in the afternoon.

Romanko said that nursing-building construction costs shouldn’t deter administrators from following through with previous plans.

“It’s a college. Students pay a significant amount of money to go here … if they can build a new building, they can build a parking lot,” he said.

Finding parking isn’t the issue, according to Police Chief Eric Zangaglia.

“There’s ample parking. It’s just a convenience issue,” he said.

“Everybody would like to park next to the building they will be accessing, but, unfortunately, once those spots fill up, people either have to choose to park farther away or risk being ticketed by parking somewhere they’re not supposed to.”