Editorial: New recreation center comes with strings attached

By on October 18, 2011

The recently approved recreation center is both exciting and stressful to resident students.

Firstly, the idea of more intramural and private student gym use is relieving. While the Student Activities Center athletic facilities are convenient for students, the space is cramped and aged.

A new recreation center, proposed to include a jogging track, basketball courts, a fitness lab and a multipurpose room and located on the west side of campus, is the right answer.

Obviously, students are upset and confused that U of L would build a recreation center, relocating the parking spaces currently located on the lot, which are already sparse around campus.
Clarity should be available for several factors.

Construction on the new parking lot depends on the obtainment of the space behind Kurz Hall, owned by the Chevron Corporation. Incoming freshmen, paying the $98 recreation fee, deserve to feel the benefits of having a second athletic center before graduation, but it’s clear that there is a demand for not only parking, but also convenient parking.

How much farther away will parking be from residence halls including Kurz, Bettie Johnson, Louisville Hall and Community Park? Crime is unfortunately too common in Old Louisville and the dangers of walking alone at night should not be increased.

Every available resident parking pass was purchased this year – 1,230 total. Cutting over half of those spots – even temporarily – is unsettling. Under the assumption that student admittance increases every year, shouldn’t the new parking structure or lot be much larger than the existing?

For many students, having a vehicle on campus during the school year is a necessity; driving to work, social events and exploring Louisville with new friends is a part of the campus experience. If and when parking passes sell out, many upset students and parents will expect answers.

Until the completion of supplemental parking spots and the purchase of the proposed site, the subject is problematic. A new recreation center will be useful and beneficial to students; however, one must consider the potential parking inconveniences to students.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Cody Hibbard/The Louisville Cardinal

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