Parking at Shepherd can be a challenge, and many students park on public streets.

When Will Shepherd Get a New Parking Garage?

What comes to mind when you hear the words “C-Lot”? I have yet to get a positive response to that question. Getting to class on time is stressful enough in the morning, worrying if there is enough space for you, just adds to the pressure.

I used to patrol C-Lot when I got to campus, drive by Knutti Hall and search for spaces before class. 90% of the time, the space has already been taken. Now I park right on German street and pay per hour. So much for that $70 parking pass.

Some people may not be aware of the parking situation if they aren’t commuters, I wasn’t until this semester. 69% of Shepherd University Students are commuters as of Fall 2022. With the rise of commuters in recent years, Shepherd has added a new parking garage to their list of proposed additions to campus.

There’s no time for me in the morning to park in H or F Lot and take the EPTA like many people suggest. By the time I eat breakfast, do chores, freshen up on my schoolwork, and get ready to go, I’m out the door with little time to spare. I know some commuters who even do early shifts at work before class. Time is precious and there’s never enough.

“Before my classes every morning, I will see students circling in and out of the parking lot next to White Hall just hoping that there is a parking spot there to no avail,” said John Barbe, a Shepherd student.

Circling around trying to find a spot is maddening to students and faculty, which is why a lot of us have given up and started to pay for parking in town.

According to page 66 of the Shepherd University Master Plan, “If a decision is made to construct structured parking, the logical location, from a traffic engineering perspective, would be at Lot A (referring to C-lot). This location would provide parking in close proximity to the area of peak demand. Since intersection capacity is not an issue the additional trips generated by a parking structure in this location should not adversely impact traffic operations. In fact providing additional parking in this area would most likely improve traffic operations by removing circling drivers from town streets as the look for on street parking.”

A down side to this idea is the fact that the university plans to build the parking garage on top of the only parking lot for commuters on East Campus. While C-Lot is out of commission for months, or even years, students will be left with even less space than they had before.

On page 7 of the Shepherd University Master Plan, a list of initiatives was proposed based on the projected growth of campus. The list includes things such as a new student center, connection to the river, multiple smaller food service venues around campus, and a new parking garage.

“A 450-space parking garage is proposed on the east campus to accommodate the overwhelming need for student and faculty parking. The garage is located close to the academic core in order to lessen University use of Shepherdstown parking spaces”

With the addition of a parking garage on east campus, I and other students may even stay on campus longer than before. I leave directly after class, so I don’t have to continue to pay for parking, and I make a space available for another student. If there were a parking garage near my classes, I would take advantage of more of the student resources on campus.

I would prefer to grab a cup of coffee at Fireside Café and study in the library over rushing to my car with my fingers crossed I didn’t get yet another parking ticket.

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