Senior parking at York Hill to open next week

Kim Green

Photo by Anna Brundage/Chronicle

Life is getting better on the Hill next week for seniors living in the Townhouses and Eastview, as they soon will be able to park their cars directly outside of their residence halls. Juniors will have to continue making the long trek to the parking garage for now.

Starting next week, seniors living in the Townhouses will now be allowed to park in the 40 parking spaces located next to the suites. Residents in Eastview will have access to the 120 parking spaces located directly outside of the residence hall.

“Any student assigned housing at York Hill is supposed to park in the garage and is prohibited from using any surface parking,” Barger said. “I am working with SGA to allow senior students in the Townhouses and Eastview to use surface parking located outside of their dormitories.”

David Barger, chief of security & safety, and Vincent Bond, vice president of student concerns for Student Government Association, have been in contact throughout the summer in talks of opening up a better parking situation for seniors at York Hill.

“For the students living in the Townhouses, they don’t have access to the Crescent so on inclement weather days they have to walk outside all the way from the parking garage with no shelter,” Barger said. “I can certainly understand where the students are coming from. Being a senior, you want flexibility.”

While the parking lot near the Townhouses allows for enough spaces for all of the seniors, the parking lot in front of Eastview does not. For the 150 students living in the residence hall, there are 120 spaces and will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“For the senior housing experience, we try in any way possible to make it better,” Bond said. “We try to make improvements each year, and maybe next year we will have more parking flexibly for juniors. It’s all about progress.”

Barger and Bond will meet Monday to sort out the details on the templates for the decals and how students will obtain them. Depending on the meeting, Bond says he is confident that seniors will receive their decals by Thursday at the latest. Bond said that sometime next week an SGA representative, along with security, will give out new decals to seniors at Rocky Top.

While the new decals will give them access to the surface parking lots, seniors will still be able to enter the parking garage. On days with inclement weather and during sporting events at TD Bank Sports Center, students will be asked by security  to move their cars into the parking garage. Bond said this will only happen eight or nine times during the winter sport season.

“Students are never going to be 100 percent happy with anything, even with something as little as moving their cars into the garage for snow, but this is a great improvement,” said Andrew McDermott, a senior residing in Eastview. “Last October when I decided I would be living up at York Hill, I was under the impression that the lot in front of Eastview would be for seniors. After a few months of waiting, I am happy that it finally is.”