Bell Center renovations challenge parking


Parking spaces previously used for student and staff parking for the intramural fields and dorm buildings become subjected to closures for alterations

15-month renovations to the Bell Athletic Center started at the beginning of the semester, closing off parking lot O between the building and Verna McLean Hall. The closures have led to tightened parking on campus for those living and working on campus.

Some commuters have found it challenging to find open spaces.

“I’ve definitely been inconvenienced by it,” said Evan Epps, a senior urban studies major. “There’s just less parking spaces. People are being siphoned into Prassel garage, which is filling up really quickly. I’ll get onto campus at 8 a.m. and still can’t find a spot. Usually that early there are lots of spots available.”

Lots available to students without parking spaces have been utilized in light of the shutdowns.

“With my current schedule, I would have parked along the Bell Center, but now I have to park in Prassel garage or Alamo Stadium,” Epps said.

The closures only contribute to some of the newfound difficulties.

“First of all, the reduced parking from construction and the higher number of students in the lower grades has really affected parking, and it’s making it a lot harder,” Epps said.

Despite having difficulties finding parking, schedules seem to remain largely unaffected.

“It’s not so much of a time inconvenience,” Epps said. “Time inconvenience is only a couple minutes, but it’s just having to carry equipment for P.E. classes from my car to the Bell Center is quite annoying, to sound really whiny about it. But it’s also that I drive a bigger vehicle which makes it more likely for me to hit someone.”

While commuters report having more difficulties finding parking on campus, some students and staff who living on campus haven’t noticed as much of an impact.

“I park in Prassel garage, but I’m very lucky because, as a staff member, I have a reserved spot,” said Rachel Boaz, coordinator for Residential Life and Experiential Learning. “I haven’t noticed a large impact on Prassel’s parking. Since the start of the semester and the Bell Center renovations, I haven’t noticed an increase of traffic either.”

Some students living in McLean haven’t noticed significant changes either.

“I haven’t really noticed any changes aside from all the gates,” said Willa Rubin, a junior living in McLean. “It’s really not that much worse. I think that anyone who’s complaining about this is being superfluous, because there are plenty of spaces to park. Sometimes you have to walk a little bit longer.”

The price paid for reducing the number of spots will be visible inside the newly renovated Bell Center once they’re completed.

“I have heard a lot of people at Trinity complain about the size of the gym. A lot of people,” Rubin said. “If you want them to increase the size of the gym, they might have to close down a few parking spaces. Do you want a bigger gym or more convenient parking? I don’t know. I’m annoyed about the smallness of the gym but I understand that there will be marginal benefits and marginal costs to get what you want. I also really don’t think that the parking is so bad that it’s worth complaining about because we’re getting something good out of this. They’re doing something nice for us.”