McNeese prepares for new addition to campus

McNeese Parking Garage

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Several changes can be expected across the McNeese campus in coming months.

The first one is a parking garage, something students across campus will be glad to see after passing a $75 fee increase for it a year ago.

While the parking garage will be a much needed asset to campus, the process of building it will cause inconveniences, including possible temporary parking in the old Charles Cinema lot.

Construction is expected to begin towards the end of May and finish in January of 2013. It will be located just off of Common Street where the old band practice field and a parking lot currently are.

"That will soon be, in the next few weeks be closed," said Candace Townsend, director of public relations. "The band practice field has already been relocated over to near the intramural fields."

So where are all of the students who currently park in that lot supposed to go? That's the point of a traffic study being conducted by McNeese right now. They are trying to find the best and safest location for students to move to temporarily. The study centers on the old Charles Cinema lot off of Sale Road.

"Our concern is students crossing Ryan Street to get to the main campus," said Townsend. "We want to make sure that we've got a safe way for them to do that and we also don't want to add to the traffic congestion on Sale Road."

The goal is to create and entrance only area from Sale Road and an exit only area onto Ryan Street. McNeese hopes to also get a crosswalk added across Ryan Street, possibly near Orchard Street, which would be near the temporary parking lot exit.

Townsend knows it will be a frustrating time for students, faculty and staff., but the end will be beneficial. Other changes are also happening across McNeese campus at a rapid rate including the current renovations of Kaufman Hall.

"It's very inconvenient right now for a lot of people that are normally housed for example in Kaufman Hall," said Townsend. "They've been relocated while that building is undergoing a complete renovation. The Band Hall is under renovation. Frasch Annex will soon be renovated. In about a year the library will get some needed changes. So it really is an exciting time on campus." W

Whether or not the Charles Cinema lot is used for temporary parking, Townsend reminds students about the parking lot near the football field.

It holds over one thousand cars, and Townsend said that while it is a longer walk, the lot is never full.

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