One hundred new parking spaces are available for resident students to use that will serve as an expansion of Parking Lot 14, located along Tracy Avenue at NMU.
The new lot is fully functional with a gravel top, and will be paved in the spring, said Jim Thams, director of engineering and facilities planning. It was made to expand the availability of parking for resident students and to provide additional spaces for the students who will move from West Hall to The Woods when the next quad of housing units open in the winter semester.
“There used to be a parking lot where the city municipal service center is right now but we always knew we had to replace the loss of those spaces and we were trying to time the replacement to coincide with the new dorms,” Thams said.
The migrating students will no longer have direct access to Lot 1 behind the University Center and Marquette General Hospital. The expansion of Lot 14 provides a consolidated and consistent location for resident hall students to park, Thams said. He also explained that since NMU sold Lot 46 to the city of Marquette, the university had designated portions of other lots around campus to compensate for the loss of so many parking spaces, which totaled 272.
“There are some other options that we’re looking at for next summer,” Thams hinted. “There may be some opportunity where the Summit Apartments were. But all of that is a planning discussion for next winter semester.”
Thams said 100 new spaces is a huge addition to parking considering the 2-to-1 design ratio created for residence hall students.
“You never provide one space for every student,” he said in regards to the typical design standard for university parking. “If you did that we’d have 9,000 parking spaces just for students and then another 1,000 for faculty. What’s the probability of everybody being here with a car at the same time?”
Lot 21, which is located outside of what remains of the Summit Apartments, serves as an overflow lot or yet another redesignation of parking if a high demand for parking persists for residence hall students or commuters.
“There are a lot of options,” Thams said. “Adding 100 spaces will definitely put a dent in the need [for parking] and then if there still are problems with finding a space I would recommend people always go to Lot 21.”