By Victoria Remley
Closure of some Youngstown State University student housing parking lots for construction, including at the Flats at Wick Apartments, Lyden House and Cafaro House, is aiming to expand campus but currently firing up frustrations for residents.
Kate Denmeade, a freshman pre-veterinarian and professional and technical writing major living in the Cafaro House, said having limited parking is upsetting because students pay so much money to be ensured parking.
“I don’t understand why cutting it off at this point [in the semester] had to happen because everyone is going to be trying to move out and it’s just going to cause a big mess,” Denmeade said.
She said she gets off work at 11:30 p.m. and now has to park far from her dorm.
“Not that I really feel that scared on campus. It’s just — it’s so dark where I park now, and I just don’t like it. I don’t like feeling uneasy. I feel the same way for my friends when I know they’re coming home from work too,” Denmeade said.
Danny O’Connell, director of support services, said the Flats at Wick Apartments parking lot will be partially turned into Cafaro Field.
After construction for the new field is done, the Flats at Wick Apartments parking lot, also known as the M90 lot, will have 233 parking spaces.
“The most important thing is that this is completely done in the fall when we come back to school,” O’Connell said.
The estimated completion date for the Flats at Wick Apartments lot is Aug. 9.
A new north central parking lot will add 330 spots that will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This lot will start where Fedor Hall ends and extend to the Stambaugh Stadium gate. The tennis courts will be downsized into a simple steel building open 24 hours a day year round.
The Rich Center for Autism’s parking lot will be pushed north and the bottom of Elm Street will become mostly a pedestrian walkway with some space for deliveries. Cars will not be able to park on the street, but shuttles will be able to drive on the road.
“It’s going to really service Kilcawley for events. It’s going to service the WATTS [Center],” O’Connell said.
The north central parking will offset what the school will eventually lose when the Fifth Avenue Parking Deck is shut down. It also provides a major parking lot close to Kilcawley Center and the WATTS Center.
While the Flats at Wick Apartments, Lyden House and Cafaro House parking lots are closed down, students can park at the M2 parking lot by the WATTS Center, the M22 parking lot behind the Office of Veterans Affairs, the Wick Avenue M-30 Parking Deck and the M70 parking lot.
The M70 parking lot will be overnight parking during the construction.
“I have absolutely no concerns with parking come fall up in that area [the Flats at Wick Apartments],” O’Connell said.
Lydia Mashburn, a junior medical laboratory science major and student office worker at parking services, said the Flats at Wick Apartments parking lot closing is necessary, but will be an inconvenience for students living in the apartments.
“You can even call escort services or the YSU Police and they can assist you getting to and from your, you know, car to your apartment,” Mashburn said.