by KELLY HERNLEY
On Nov. 20, the fourth and fifth floors of the Eagle Landing Parking Deck closed parking access to students for structural maintenance. According to an email sent to students on Nov. 17 from Amy Jessee, the executive director of university communications, these two levels will remain closed through Dec. 15.
The structural maintenance consists of resealing joints and attending to minor concrete repairs, according to the email. During the maintenance, the third level of the parking deck will remain open for students.
To accommodate for decreased parking access, students have been instructed to park in one of five other locations around campus: Alvey parking deck’s first three floors, the north side of the Eagle Landing residence hall, the Sunken Road north and south lots, the Pizza Hut lot and the Battleground lot.
Students were also advised to view the campus parking map if they needed assistance in determining where those parking lots are located.
The reason for the structural maintenance is due to water leaks, according to Brian Gorham, the executive director of facilities operation for the university.
Gorham indicated that structural inspections of the parking garages on campus occur annually, and these inspections can identify potential long-term issues that need to be addressed.
“The work being performed on the deck is urgent due to the fact that the garage is very susceptible to water leaking from the top deck onto the floors below, which, during freezing conditions, can create a dangerous, slippery, ‘frozen’ situation,” said Gorham.
The maintenance is being done now, rather than after students leave for winter break, due to the materials that are used to seal the cracks in the parking garage. These materials are dependent on the outdoor air temperature and have to be applied when it is above 45 degrees, according to Gorham.
“The risk of waiting means that if the temperature dropped significantly, the work would not have been completed,” said Gorham.
However, some students were frustrated at the timing of the maintenance repairs.
“I think it’s really inconvenient and honestly horrible timing,” said junior philosophy: pre-law major Danielle Bergida. “We have a week left and they could’ve waited until all the students left for break.”
As a result of this maintenance, Bergida found it difficult to park her car.
“Personally it hasn’t affected my everyday, but it makes parking super inconvenient,” she said.
Students have also searched for parking in other areas around the Eagle Landing Apartments.
“I have resorted to regularly checking for parking spaces behind and beside the Eagle Apartments,” said senior applied economics major Brian Veranga. “Since it’s closer to the end of the semester, I have had better luck regularly finding parking.”
Students were given a three-day notice about the maintenance work, during which they had to move their cars from the fourth and fifth floors. The email with the notice was sent on Friday, Nov. 17, and the work started on the following Monday, Nov. 20.
Gorham indicated that the notice to students was delivered later than desired.
“The expedited notice was due to limited contractor availability, as they are in high demand,” said Gorham. “We decided to move forward as they were available so that we could best ensure the long-term safety of our students using the garage structure.”
The work will be completed by Thalhimer, the real estate agency that manages the building, according to Gorham.
Veranga explained that he hasn’t felt much of an impact overall from the parking garage closure.
“Personally, it is a bit of an annoyance but understandably necessary,” said Veranga. “I don’t drive a lot in my daily routine, but I do sometimes miss the luxury of not worrying about fighting for parking.”