Trading pavement for progress

Pending approval from the Board of Trustees, construction of the new College of Management building will lead to parking lot closures

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Trading pavement for progress

Kalie Strain, Editor-in-chief

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The new College of Management building, which will be called the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, is scheduled to be up for final approval from the Board of Trustees on Oct. 25. If the board approves the latest design plans for the center, construction could begin on the previous Park House site, along the right side of campus’ NW Riverside Parkway entrance, as early as the first two weeks of December. This construction will close Lot G and potentially sections of Lot F.

Lot G is the parking lot down the hill from The Meetin’ House and along the NW Riverside Parkway entrance. Lot F is the section of parking along the underground exit and what used to be on the north side of Park House. Lot G has 40 spots that will be lost to construction equipment and parking for construction workers. Lot F has a total of 44 spots, but at this time it is unclear if any of those spots will be taken.

Pending approval of the Board of Trustees, the Plaster Center is projected to be finished by fall 2021. The current design plans have it being 26,000 square feet and three stories tall, according to Brian Bode, vice president of facilities. It will have a finance lab and an innovation lab. The Warrior Center will be moved into this new building.

Courtesy of Park University.
Digital rendering of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.

 

“I think students need to know that this building is being funded by donations and gifts (and other university funds),” Bode said. “(It) is not affecting their cost of attendance.”

According to Bode, Park has been negotiating to secure parking near English Landing in downtown Parkville. These negotiations are to reserve parking spots to make up for the parking lot closures on campus.

Additionally, Park is working on providing a shuttle from downtown Parkville to the top of Mackay Hill, according to Bode.

“We will run shuttle buses from about 7:30 to probably 2 to 2:30 in the afternoon,” he said.

These shuttles are predicted to be 15 passenger vans, and Park is planning on having two of these vans running at a time.

“We ask students to fill our parking lot before they take any downtown parking places,” said Bode.

Associate Provost Brian Shawver worked with the college deans to try to alleviate some of the most congested times on campus. To do this they worked to move some classes away from Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They were only able to move three or four classes, according to Shawver.

“It’s really a drop in the bucket in the terms of how many classes we offer,” said Shawver. “While I hope that marginally opens up a few parking spots… I don’t see any effect on the student experience.”

These class changes have already been made and won’t affect students next semester, according to Shawver.

“We understand this isn’t going to be easy or fun,” said Bode. “But it is progress, and it is a very small footprint campus. We don’t have any place close to this campus to build another lot, and so we are doing the very best that we can.”

Bode said students need to communicate issues to him, as he may not have seen or realized it himself.

“And I will tell them not every answer is yes, but we will address it,” Bode said.

Bode said he invites students, staff and faculty that have complaints or issues to contact him by phone at 816-584-6248 or by email at [email protected]

 

Correction: The version of this story printed in The Stylus on Oct. 25 incorrectly reported the location of the parking lot in downtown Parkville.

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