Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 21, 2018


Construction of the Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center is causing parking issues for students, faculty and staff alike. Or is it?

Photo by Destinee Boutwell

Parking 'Not' a Problem

Marcus Zwiebel

The situation of campus parking is as complex and varied as the attitudes and perspectives regarding it.

The limited campus parking has seemingly always been a concern for individuals at Manchester, regardless of demographic: commuter and resident, faculty, staff and student. However, the recent and large construction of the Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center has cleared an area that was formerly a visitor and faculty/staff parking lot and thus created a renewed interest in parking concerns.
The predominant attitude towards limited parking on Manchester’s intimate campus has been summarily “deal with it and arrive earlier.” However, this motorist mantra has grown weaker with the addition of construction and subtraction of numerous parking spots. Simply arriving early no longer guarantees students, staff, or faculty an accessible walking distance to their venues.

While it is true that the parking dilemma does pose understandable concern, it is ultimately found to go little past inconvenience, considering the long-term benefits of the construction and the subsequent community beneficence the facility will have.

The duality of the perspectives concerning parking is represented well by junior Maddie Shultz, a Manchester University commuter. “I always hear about paving Paradise to put up a parking lot,” says Shultz with a sardonic grin and slight laugh, “but the opposite is happening this year. We are gaining what I’m sure will be a wonderful new building, but in the process, are temporarily losing valuable parking spaces for commuter students, visitors and staff.”

In a recent Oak Leaves article, head of Campus Safety Tina Edwards explains that she is doing all that she can to make parking this year easier for students, faculty, and staff—including physically counting and documenting available spaces for concerned students.

While it is true that students and professors alike are becoming inconvenienced and actually showing up late to class or meetings, the Chinworth construction and its subsequent parking limitations parallel adolescent growing pains for the community of Manchester: they may be uncomfortable, but are ultimately temporary and necessary. 

The Chinworth Center will contain a variety of services that will render the temporary parking dilemma understandable, such as a new location for the Registrar, Student Financial Services, Student Activities, several classrooms (to accommodate Manchester’s growing student body) and a new commuter lounge. The second floor of the Center, which will be a connected extension of the Jo Young Switzer Center, will also include the new Arthur L. Gilbert College of Business.

So, as students, faculty and staff pull onto campus for a class or meeting, they should perhaps ponder the benefits of the Chinworth Center, the temporariness of construction, and the people physically trying to accommodate the Manchester community—especially since they will probably have a nice, long walk to do so.