Troy University is going to “pull the trigger” on plans for more parking.
According to Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves, the University will add about 600 parking spaces in a new lot. The site is across Luther Drive from the Trojan Center, between the Trojan Center and the track, and between the Trojan Center and Trojan Arena.
Kirsten Stringer, a sophomore biomedical sciences major from Montgomery, said she likes how close that area is to campus.
“That’s pretty legit; that’s pretty clever,” Stringer said.
Reeves emphasized that the university is only in the planning stages, but said that he hoped to have a timeline for the new lot in the next couple of months.
He said he could not provide a rough estimate of when the lot will be started or completed.
According to an email from Cynthia Mote, a Troy University police dispatcher, the university currently has 4,750 total parking spaces, including student and nonstudent parking.
Adding a new lot with 600 parking spaces would increase the total number of parking spots on campus to 5,350. This would equal about a 12.6 percent increase in spaces.
Bianca Perez, a senior graphic design major form Athens, questioned whether the additional parking spaces will meet the need of commuters.
“It is a slight improvement,” Perez said. “Is that still going to be enough?”
According to Mote’s email, 5,738 total, student and nonstudent, permits were given out this academic year. She said many students have multiple cars, which increases the number.
Currently, 82.7 percent of vehicles have parking spaces. Considering the total number of decals and the current number of parking spots, there will be 388 cars without a space even after the 600 spaces are added.
Reeves said that the national standard for parking is 46.7 spaces for every 100 students. According to a Tropolitan report in September 2016, the total enrollment count was 7,864 students.
The number of parking spaces at Troy University already exceeds the minimum of the national standard.
Once the lot is finished, Reeves said, the University will look into rezoning parking. He said that the parking lot across from the New Residence Hall would most likely turn into a resident-only lot, instead of half resident and half commuter.
“They (the university) definitely need the space,” said Jay Valentine, an assistant professor of philosophy.
Valentine said he would prefer if trees were not eliminated to construct the lot, but he understands how much the university needs the space.
Perez said that Troy University has many students who commute, and it is important for them to have available spaces. She suggested better promotion by the university of its shuttle system.
“The shuttle should be a bit more precise,” Perez said.
Reeves agreed. He said he encourages students having parking difficulties to find a spot at the Trojan Arena and to take the shuttle to campus.
“It’s great that the administration is listening to the students’ concerns,” said SGA President Olivia Melton, a senior mathematics and economics major from Orange Beach.
Melton said this is a “good step in the right direction” for the university, and the lot will help during Troy’s growth toward its 10,000-student target.