An email was sent to students last week informing them that lots M, O and P by the Field House would be closed over the weekend due to construction.
Starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday November 8, lots M, O and P were closed to students due to “planned electrical outages,” according to the email. Students who normally park in these lots were required to move their cars to an east campus General Parking lot excluding the paid visitor are of the Rappahanock River Deck. Restrictions and fees were waived for students that wanted to move their cars on Thursday night or Friday morning and keep them there throughout the weekend. The lots officially reopened Nov. 9 at noon.
The planned electrical outage was part of the Field House renovations that began in November of last year. The Mason Facilities website states that the renovation will provide upgrades for the exterior and appearance of the facility, as well as infrastructure improvements, like a new roof. When completed, the renovation will provide additional program space for Intercollegiate Athletics.
Director of Parking Services, Josh Cantor, commented that the lots were not being closed because the university needs to use the space like they do for Mason Day, but that the lots are being closed for safety reasons.
“[If people are there] in the dark and something happens, the university would be liable,” Cantor said. “Closing the lots avoids having people there.”
Mason Facilities’ website lists the end date for the renovations to be this month.
“It’s getting towards the end, and they’re doing a lot of work. They’ve started to paint the outside, and the roads will be finished soon,” Cantor said. “A lot of things are happening over there that will improve the facilities for students.“
Saturday and Sunday were chosen for the electrical outage to avoid having mass numbers of students parking in the lot, as lots M, O and P are General Permit lots that commuter students often use. The other portion of students that typically fill these lots are students typically live in Rogers and Whitetop, according to Cantor. These are the students who were most affected by the lot closures. There were also no scheduled athletics events occurring this weekend that would interfere with the construction plans.
When asked if any students had contacted the Department of Parking Services about the lot closures, Cantor says he has only heard from one person.
Photo Credit: Amy Rose