As a ribbon was cut to open the new West Campus parking deck on Wednesday, cars unpacking residents still searched for parking in the traffic-prone Stadium Lot area. University higher-ups hope the new and improved facility will ease parking problems on campus and in the community.
The West Campus parking deck provides 477 new LED-lit parking spots for students, faculty and alumni that adds 250 more parking spaces to West Campus. Elevators and Wi-Fi are also accessible in the deck.
“The opening of this facility is another tremendous milestone as we build infrastructure that supports and elevates Appalachian’s educational mission,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Everts said the parking deck, which sold out of spots in a day and a half, will also benefit the App State football gameday experience.
Nine hundred and twenty-seven parking spaces will be available on West Campus after construction is complete. The Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex will have 180 parking spaces behind it and another 270 next to the residence halls currently under construction.
Everts credited the divisions of student affairs and business affairs at the ceremony for ensuring the project finished on time and on budget. She thanked RISE Real Estate, the main developer of the West Campus construction.
“All of the leadership from the university from top to bottom has been wonderful,” Jeremy Doss, senior vice president of RISE, said. “We are just very excited and proud to have a partnership.”
John Eckman, associate vice chancellor for campus services, said the deck was not just for App State, but for the community.
“More available parking spaces on campus help better distribute the overall parking needs throughout Appalachian and the town of Boone,” Eckman said.
Liana Walker, senior communication studies major andWest Campus resident assistant, said she tolerates the construction around her living space, but is looking forward to the end result.
“I’m super happy that it allows more parking because it’s very unfortunate that they took away Duck Pond,” Walker said.“I’m trusting the process; it’s going to look beautiful.”