The Education and Arts Building lot was previously restricted for safety reasons
By MANDI STEFFEY
Frustrating students and faculty alike, the new campus parking lot located at the corner of Esther and Hildreth streets near the Education and Arts Building has been encased in fencing since the start of the semester.
A sign was posted on the fence, warning motorists that the gates would lock at 8 p.m., which is well before the last night class is released from IU South Bend. Likely to the relief of those who drive to campus, the fence is down and the lot is now fully operational.
“The gates are down and the lot is fully lit,” said Michael Prater, director of facilities management at IUSB. “Everything was put into place today [Friday]. This morning they got the lights in working order and we were able to get the gates down for good.”
Prater and parking staff employees on campus say that while the gates might have been frustrating to motorists, they were there for safety purposes. According to them, the gates were necessary because the lights that were erected on the lot weren’t yet working. This resulted in a very dark space during the night hours, so the decision was made to gate the lot and lock the gates after 8 p.m. to keep students and staff safe.
“It just gets dark around 8. It was a safety reason,” said Chris Lass, a full-time parking staff member and IUSB student. “It was locked down for the safety of the students.”
Other options were available for students after 8 p.m., including the adjacent lots west of the parking lot and all other lots on campus. Even if a student was locked in the gate past 8 p.m., parking staff said that security personnel were on hand all hours of the night to unlock the gate.
Now that the lot is fully functional, it’s able to provide much-needed parking space day and night on the west side of campus. It’s the biggest parking lot on the west side and is only rivaled by the bigger lot on the east side of the Student Activities Center, Greenlawn Hall and Northside Hall. According to the IUSB Parking website, that lot is the first to fill up.
Students can now rest assured that there will be more parking spaces available without the annoyance of a locked gate. The new lot, which has been freshly repaved to repair potholes and supplied with brand new lighting fixtures, is now fully accessible.
“It’s all back to normal now. Students will be able to park in the new lot without the 8 p.m. restrictions starting this week,” Prater said.