More income, opportunities promised for Park from Lot M closing

Kalie Strain, Reporter

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Foutch Brothers Construction Company will be building an office building in what was the Park University Lot M parking lot. This change is expected to bring additional parking spots to lot N, additional scholarship money, potential internships for students and improvements to the Sixth Street entrance to Park.

Construction for the new building is slowly starting. The extension of lot N is set to begin in summer 2019. According to President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., the additional parking stalls in lot N will be equal to the number of stalls lost by the closing of lot M. The expansion of lot N will be paid for by Foutch Brothers.

The extension will include the demolishing of the old bakery building that sits inside the lot as well as extending the lot towards the creek. Parts of the bakery building will be saved and repurposed to preserve its history.

An additional parking lot will be added to compensate for the employees of the Foutch Brothers office building. This parking lot will only be available to students outside of office hours. The city of Parkville is paying for this additional lot.

“Leasing the property generates cash flow. This generates funds for scholarships,” said Gunderson.

Additional scholarships for students will be added from the lease payments Foutch Brothers will pay Park for having their building on the university’s property.

The new building will house 120 jobs, according to Gunderson. Internships should become available for students once the building is operational. The hope is that the added jobs bring more business to downtown Parkville as well.

In addition to the improvements to lot N and the building of an additional lot for the office building, the city of Parkville is going to add a third lane on Highway 9 at the Sixth Street entrance to the university. This third lane will be a turn lane to reduce the traffic congestion in the area.

This change will take a lot longer than the rest of the changes. The addition of a third lane is a potentially multi-million dollar project and will take several years to complete. The rest of the changes in the Sixth Street area of campus are expected to be finished sooner. The construction of the office building is beginning now, and the changes to lot N will be happening over the summer.

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