Rachel Mulder-Staff Writer
Members of the faculty in Student Services are working with members of Student Symposium and the Administrative Cabinet to find a solution to the parking issue on Dordt’s campus.
“We are committed to having a place for our students to park,” said Robert Taylor, dean of campus life.
The science building construction has contributed to the lack of parking, but is just a small factor. The main reason Dordt is lacking space for parking is because the number of registered vehicles on campus this year is the highest Dordt College has seen to date.
“When we looked at our trend data for the last ten years, it would’ve never informed us of this increase. There was nothing that said we would have so many more cars [on campus],” said Taylor.
Only fifty faculty parking spaces between the science building and computer services were lost because of the construction.
The original plan was to make the lot between East Hall and the Dining Hall a faculty parking lot to replace the spots that were lost, but recently that decision was reversed back to a student lot, increasing the amount of parking spots for students.
Student Services and the Administrative Cabinet are waiting on the city to get back to them about adding spaces in the All Seasons Center lot, so they hope to have a great plan in place as soon as possible.
“The city [of Sioux Center] owns the All Seasons Center, but Dordt owns a piece of the parking lot because we paid for part of it,” said Taylor.
As soon as administration learned about this parking issue a few weeks ago, they allocated many resources and poured many hours into resolving the issue because they are committed to fixing it.
Dordt Campus Security is also pitching in to get this problem resolved by counting the number of parking spots in every lot on campus to make sure there is room for everyone.
Taylor mentioned that charging for parking passes has been part of the brainstorming process. However, for many students, having a vehicle is an opportunity to make money, so there is no word on if charging for parking will take place.
Parking in the lot between Kuyper Apartments and the BJ Haan overnight is not allowed for Dordt students because there is no good way to keep students accountable for moving their vehicles during the day.
“We avoid towing at all costs. It costs 150 dollars to get your car back [from the impound lot], and when you tow a vehicle, there is some risk that you could damage the vehicle,” said Taylor.
A new parking lot will open when construction on the science building is finished which will increase available parking and likely become a faculty lot.
Construction on this first phase of the science building is to be completed by August 2014 if everything stays on track. They hope to have the building enclosed by winter so they can continue working on the interior.
“After a difficult start in May because of wet weather, the contractor has made good progress the rest of the summer and is on schedule,” said Arlan Nederhoff, vice president of business affairs.
“We’re committed to students to help them find the best possible solution. We want students to have a great experience [at Dordt],” said Taylor.