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Parking at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will become more difficult in the weeks to come, according to President Michael Driscoll at an open forum Thursday.
With Crimson Café construction well under way and the new humanities building slated to start soon, Driscoll said some faculty were concerned with parking and navigating around the building sites.
According to Driscoll, an appeal was made to keep the remaining three parking places around Sutton Hall open as handicapped parking during the construction. In addition to making the spots handicapped only, a request was made that one spot be one-hour parking to accommodate handicapped visitors to the building.
These spots will eventually be gone due to the construction, Driscoll said, who now has to park in the parking garage. Parking will be maintained “as long as possible” around Sutton as construction crews are mobilized and plans are developed. The spaces near Sutton could conceivably be left open for the remainder of the academic year and could possibly be tagged as handicapped parking as a short-term option, Driscoll said.
Driscoll raised the issue of finding a path to Sutton during the time of construction.
Representatives from the department of engineering and construction, who attended the meeting, said the new walking path to Sutton from the parking garage may add an additional two or three minutes to travel time.
The path will consist of coming out of the third level of the parking garage, heading left toward Fisher Hall, crossing between Fisher and the existing Crimson Café construction and walking past the library and through the Oak Grove to Sutton Hall.
The path between Fisher and the café construction site “has often been muddy and stony and dark, in the evenings anyway,” Driscoll said.
To fix this, a thin layer of asphalt will be laid down along that pathway to help make navigation easier, Driscoll said, and he suggeseted that some additional lighting be added for people exiting the building at night.
At the forum, Driscoll was asked to comment on the Strategic Visioning Summit held Monday at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.
“I thought, and what I’ve continued to hear and continued to think, it was a great, energized day and lots of great input,” he said. “We had incredible participation by students, faculty and staff, and the mix was really incredible.”
Driscoll said the summit was a great step, but there is still a lot of work to do going forward. The current goal is to finish a revision of the vision statement by the end of November if not sooner. The statement will then go before the University Senate and the Council of Trustees for endorsement in their December meetings.
“We have pages and pages and pages of input from the breakout groups on Monday,” he said. “I expect that not every piece of information that was shared there will end up in the vision, but I think we’ll be able to use all of those things in the Strategic Planning book.”
After the forum, Driscoll explained that the brevity of the event as well as the attendance was typical of these types of forums now. Approximately 20 to 30 people attended the 15-minute event.
“These are here in case there are issues that need to be addressed, and I want to keep providing that opportunity,” Driscoll said. “I think that communication on campus has been going pretty well. We’ve seen fewer large gatherings with questions coming up because they’re being answered elsewhere. But we always want to keep this available.”