Appalachian State students have always found parking to be difficult because it is very limited.
Town Manager John Ward thinks that it is important to keep Appalachian students in parking lots that the school has to offer so that locals of Boone may use the downtown parking and that businesses can provide parking for their customers.
Paul Forte, the vice chancellor of business affairs at Appalachian, agreed that it is important that students stick to their own parking.
“We have to be good neighbors and try to figure out parking and have the best solution for everybody,” Forte said.
For this reason, Forte is in negotiations with leasing some parking spaces at the hospital, the former property of Watauga high school and at the Beaver College of Health Sciences which is currently under construction.
There is talk of Beaver College of Health Sciences opening in the fall of 2018.
Barry Sauls, director of parking and traffic services at Appalachian, said the opening of this college could be the domino effect for a lot of changes in parking.
“Obviously, with that new facility, we’re going to have to have some parking for that. There will be some on-site parking there, but it will all be consumed by the staff working in that building. There will also be clinics there, so we’ll have to have some visitor parking there,” Sauls said.
Sauls continued and said, “The students taking classes in that building won’t actually be able to park on that site. So we’re going through some different scenarios of what we’re going to do to deal with getting the students to class there. One thing that will go into effect next fall is that we are adding a bus on the Appalcart red route, which is the only bus route that serves that particular area of town.”
Sauls said students taking classes in the building won’t be able to park on site and there are plans to add an extra bus on the Appalcart red route to get students to the building, meaning there will be a bus going there every 30 minutes.
Story by; Anna Dollar, News Reporter
Photos; Halle Keighton, Photo Editor