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Parking at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is about to get a little easier. A temporary parking lot is going to be constructed along Taft Street where McNapsy Stadium used to stand to help alleviate a parking problem created by numerous construction projects on campus.
"This is just a temporary lot until we can get the high-rise parking garage constructed," said UL Lafayette President Ray Authement. "Parking has become very cramped and some spots had to be closed because of ongoing construction around campus. The parking problem we are currently experiencing is happening because of progress on campus."
Construction crews have begun work on a new building between Martin Hall and Hebrard Boulevard that will house the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. In addition, crews are continuing their work on new apartment-style housing along Lewis Street. Both projects have affected parking on campus.
The temporary lot will include approximately 115 spaces and will be a pay-lot. It will be located near the current pay-lot at Earl K. Long gymnasium. Both lots will have different entrances but will share the same exit.
The temporary lot will be 100 by 500 feet and will be overlaid with limestone. The university gave approval for the temporary lot late last week.
According to Parking and Transit Director Joey Dudley, a contractor is already on campus and the lot could be open as soon as a few weeks.
Authement said a request would be made to the state in the coming weeks to appoint an architect for the new parking garage.
Students voted last year to increase fees to cover the cost of parking garage along with other improvements to the parking and transit system on campus. A 70 percent majority approved a referendum that assesses full-time students a new $25 fee per fall and spring semesters. Students began paying the fee last spring.
At least 500 spaces are expected to be included in the parking garage. "We're shooting for 500 spaces but we will probably be able to have more than that," Dudley said.