Faculty Spaces Added to Gunpowder Creek Parking Lot

Many junior and senior day students who drive themselves to school were surprised to recently see a row of new signs at the head of the parking spaces in the familiar Gunpowder Creek parking lot. This section of the lot, as Mr. James Stanley, Dean of Students, explained during school meeting, is now reserved for arts faculty members, as the previous PMAC parking lot is now within the bounds of the construction zone for the new building.

While the change may have been jarring for day student drivers, it is equally, if not more impactful for PMAC faculty. With the PMAC parking lot out of commission and about fifty faculty members who need to get to and from the Arts Center every day, a sizable number of parking spots is essential.

“Deighna [DeRiu] and her team working props and costumes will have a particular challenge,” said Director of the Arts Department Ms. Kalya Yannatos. As some arts faculty need to carry large instruments from their cars to the building, the proximity of the Gunpowder Creek lot makes it the most ideal substitute.

Though the reserved spots are the closest to the Arts Center, arts faculty will still need to anticipate this slightly lengthier commute, especially with music or theater related materials in tow. However, Ms. Yannatos is optimistic about the transition, saying, “Eventually they will adjust to the additional time necessary to ensure they make it to their lessons on time.”

Even in the brief amount of time the signs have been installed, day students have become alarmed. “When I came in for school meeting on Tuesday, I couldn’t find anywhere to park,” described Kobe Tray ’19.

As the parking spaces for arts faculty take up a significant portion of the lot, some day students will need to park in the lots near the ice rink, a proposition that some are opposed to due to the additional time it will take to walk to classes. The safety of the spaces farther from the PMAC has also been contemplated by students, both in terms of their increased distance from academic buildings in bad weather, and the poor lighting near the pool and old student activities center.

Some day students had suggestions for relieving congestion within the Gunpowder Creek parking lot. Tray recommended the reinstallation of the gravel parking lot that once existed between the football field and North Elm Street, saying, “I think that would maximize space and would be way more efficient for students.” Affected community members will be pleased to hear that the current parking arrangement is only a temporary solution. “The long-term goal is for a new lot to be built off Rosemary Lane at the top of the new building,” said Ms. Yannatos. However, the Gunpowder Creek parking lot is currently set to remain shared parking for day students and arts faculty for the duration of the PMAC construction.

Despite having to endure this daily inconvenience, day students and faculty members alike have expressed that the benefit of the future building far outweighs the hassle of parking. “The fact that we’ll have a space for the entire school in which to meet all together is a blessing,” said Ms. Yannatos.

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