When Daniela Muñoz Perales comes to campus for class, she has to remember more than her books and assignments.
As a commuter student, she must also allow extra time to find a parking spot.
“The lack of spaces causes a lot of frustration among drivers, and I have seen people followed to their car by other drivers in the hope they will leave and that parking space will open,” Parales said.
A school psychology graduate student from Aurora, Ohio, Perales often seeks a parking spot in the crowded lot along Main Street close to White Hall, where she attends classes and serves as a graduate assistant.
Her parking options are about to improve significantly.
Perales and other Kent State students who park on the northern edge of the Kent Campus can now give a collective cheer as additional parking is on the way via an 1,100-space, five-story parking deck. The Kent State Board of Trustees approved the deck’s construction at its Dec. 4 meeting.
Linden Miller, a junior majoring in public relations from Hudson, Ohio, also welcomed the news.
“More parking is an awesome way to grab students’ attention,” she said. “I think that the parking deck will be beneficial for students because it always helps to have more spaces.”
A Positive Impact
The new Main Street parking deck will be located off of Midway Drive between Williamson House, Nixson Hall and the Center for the Performing Arts. The new $29 million facility will offer mostly covered parking spaces that have been sought by faculty and students, including commuter students, whose classes are typically scheduled along that area of campus.
Larry Emling, manager of parking services who has worked at Kent State for 21 years, said he has frequently been asked by students, “When are you going to build a parking deck?”
He now has the answer.
Construction will begin summer 2020, and the new parking deck is expected to be open for fall 2021 classes.
“The parking deck will improve parking for students, particularly on that part of campus, meeting a need and a demand,” Emling said. “Parking in that area is currently limited for students because of the location. There wasn’t much room to expand or grow in that area, except upward.
“Whenever you can add more parking space, you are able to serve more students, and that’s a positive. This parking deck will have a positive impact on that area.”