The Lot, which served as a temporary food court while the campus center was renovated from 2008-10, will be turned into a parking lot by the end of the semester.
In the past five years, The Lot space has been used for different purposes, such as storage for the DormBikes company and, more recently, a temporary location for the JEP house.
The site will be converted partially into a parking area; the remaining space will be transformed into a landscape with paved walkways, said associate Senior Vice President for Campus Development and Facilities Management Joe Back.
“We were asked by administration to take [The Lot] down by winter break,” Back said.
The new parking area will replace the former campus bookstore’s parking lot, which was demolished in preparation for construction of the new Wallis Annenberg Hall The new Annenberg building will be completed in 2014.
“In the meantime, the university had a very real need to provide some parking to replace what was lost for the Wallis Annenberg Hall construction,” Back said. “There was also a strong desire to create a more open area, with nice landscaping and paving.”
On the University Park Campus Master Plan, however, the space is identified as the site for a future building, which Back said is a likely long-term possibility.
“As far as the Master Plan goes at some point, it will be a building and won’t be a parking [lot] forever,” Back said.
Students had varying opinions about building the new structure and walkway in place of The Lot.
Lillian But, a junior majoring in psychology and neuroscience, said the building of more walkways is a much-needed addition to the area.
“I like the idea that [the construction] is making a broader walkway for students,” But said. “Since the imaging building right below SGM has opened, more students are going in and out of that area and it’s harder for pedestrians and bikers to move during school hours.”
Some students express nostaglia toward the changes being made.
“It was nice hanging out there when we were sick of the dining halls,” said Christian Sanchez, a senior majoring in chemical engineering. “It was kind of an odd structure but also a good place to just get out of the sun and relax.”
Alex Chin, a junior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention, thinks that the space offers multiple possibilities for potential.
“I see the benefits of it becoming a parking lot and a walkway on campus,” Chin said. “I also could see it as another building part of Dornsife.”
Mary Stepanyan, a senior majoring in human development and aging, thinks the construction plans of the lot will add necessary additional space for students on campus.
“Since I commute, I know how important finding a good parking space is,” Stepanyan said. “Making a part of ‘the Lot’ into a parking structure will be a great addition for students and faculty alike.”
The new parking lot and walkways are scheduled to be completed by the end of the spring semester.