By Linda Wilkins
Lot 42, the parking lot located on the east side of the Sid Richardson Building, will be closed starting Saturday because of construction. The lot is scheduled to re-open Aug. 13.
Kevin Karr, senior project manager, said this closure is part of Phase 1 of the construction that will re-align and extend Third Street from Moody Memorial Library to Bagby Avenue. Phase 1 will involve routing utilities from the Baylor Energy Complex to the new East Village Residential Community.
Karr said the construction will involve heavy equipment and many construction vehicles, so safety was a priority when the construction dates were planned.
“It is a safety issue,” Karr said regarding the purpose of the lot closure. “We can’t take the chance of injuring a student or causing damage.”
In order to access the utilities, the construction calls for major digging in the area of Lot 42, which is parallel to the existing Third Street and immediately across from the Baylor Energy Complex, he said.
The lot will be closed starting at 10 a.m. Saturday so a fence can be installed around the perimeter of the lot by Monday morning, Karr said.
Road accessibility around the construction area will not be affected.
The lot closure may lead to some difficulty in parking, Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, said in an email to the Lariat Thursday.
“Anytime we close a parking lot, we realize it does cause some inconvenience,” Fogleman wrote. “However, in this instance, this lot closure is temporary and will allow us to move forward on major infrastructure work on the East Village and also the realignment and extension of Third Street from Moody Memorial Library to Bagby Avenue. We greatly appreciate our students’ patience and understanding.”
The work on the utilities is starting now because the construction needed to begin before the end of the semester so Phase 2 of the project could start in the summer, Karr said.
Phase 2 of the project will begin after Spring Commencement on May 13, Karr said, and will involve more closures and impact the campus more than the closure of Lot 42.
The physical work on Third Street will begin with Phase 2, he said.
Matt Penney, director of parking and transportation at Baylor, said alternate parking is available in the East Campus Parking Garage, which has 400 available spaces.
Both the Blue and Red Baylor University Shuttle (BUS) buses make stops at the garage, which is on Second Street, every 8 to 10 minutes before heading to campus, Penney said.