Blazer parking lot will close Monday for residence hall construction

By Becca Clemons

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Many parking spots will unavailable beginning Monday, Oct. 22, in preparation for construction on new North Campus residence halls.

The parking lots affected are the E/R1 lot next to Blazer Hall and south of Wildcat Lodge, the small lot at Wildcat Lodge and the Good Samaritan Hospital E Lot, according to a UK news release.

The Blazer E/R1 lot as well as the lodge lot are planned to be closed Monday. The Good Samaritan lot is scheduled to be closed in December.

The number of parking spaces lost from these lots equals 431 — with 268 employee spaces and 163 resident spaces.

R1 permit holders will have to park in the K Lot at Commonwealth Stadium using their R1 permits, according to the news release. E permit holders can use other E Lots on campus.

The changes come because the UK Board of Trustees Sunday approved the first part of Phase II of UK’s privatized housing plan, which will add 2,317 beds for $133 million.

Five additional dorms will be built by Education Realty Trust, following the first phase of the housing partnership that is under way on what was Haggin Field — in the form of construction of New Central Residence Hall, which will open next year.

The next sites are Wildcat Lodge and adjacent parking lots, the parking lot next to Blazer Hall, two buildings in the Cooperstown complex and Haggin Hall. Wildcat Lodge and Cooperstown buildings D and E are planned to be demolished next month.

Students who live on North Campus were upset about the changes.

“I was really angry when I first read the email,” said Justin Palmer, an English and Spanish senior who is a resident adviser on North Campus. “We weren’t given any kind of notice about this except for a week in advance.”

He said bus systems that run between North Campus and Commonwealth Stadium aren’t always reliable.

“It’s going to add an hour to anything that anyone on North Campus wants to do,” he said, adding that it takes about 30 minutes to walk from North Campus to K Lot.

Parking spokeswoman Chrissie Tune said bus services run on campus between the areas as many as 22 hours a day.

She said the Lextran bus between Commonwealth and main campus runs from 7 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The CATS yellow night route runs every 15 minutes from 6 to about 10 p.m. and every 30 minutes from 10 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays.

UK’s on-demand service can be used from midnight to 5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 7 p.m. to midnight Sundays by calling 221-RIDE (7433). Students also can call 257-SAFE to reach the on-demand service or SAFECATS, the safety escort service, Tune said. She said Cats Cruiser fills the ride need on Saturdays.

“We know that it’s a concern of students, but they should never have to walk from K Lot,” Tune said.

She said students who don’t want to park in K Lot can turn their permits in for a partial refund of $124. Permits originally cost $248.

Ben McIntyre, another RA who lives on North Campus, said he will turn in his permit for a refund.

“I’m pretty upset about it, because they did it right in the middle of the year,” said McIntyre, a business management junior.

He said he understands there’s a process and the changes needed to be made to work on the new dorms, but “I didn’t pay for a K Lot pass, I paid for an R1 pass,” he said.

He said the same thing happened to him last year while he was an RA at Haggin Hall on Central Campus and construction on New Central Residence Hall began, getting rid of some parking spots adjacent to Haggin Field.

“Right in the middle of the fall semester they make that decision,” he said, “and it’s just really frustrating.”

UK Parking and Transportation Services is considering offering more parking in other North Campus lots. Find more information about those plans at