Students who bring a car to Kenyon can occasionally avoid the experience of its “walking campus.” But as of next year, some students who park on the Hill may have to do a lot more walking.
Beginning in June, all of the 108 faculty and staff parking spots outside of Olin and Chalmers Library will be removed, according to the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting minutes this past Sunday, Jan. 28. This is due to the pending construction on the library, according to Buildings and Grounds Chairperson Ella Dixon ’20. Consequently, those parking spaces will be moved elsewhere.
The spots in South 1 currently designated for students will be made into faculty and staff parking, as well as the spaces in the Norton and Lewis Residence Hall lots. More student parking will be added in what is now the South 2 parking lot, located near the Kenyon Athletic Center.
The new student parking will expand the South 2 parking by using a lot by the tennis courts, which is usually empty, and as by building an additional lot, according to Dixon.
These three lots will all be called “SOUTH Parking” and will include a Knox Area Transit (KAT) shuttle stop and a bike rack. In total, there will be 425 spots for students in the south lot, per the Buildings and Grounds Committee email.
Dixon added that the change would actually increase the availability of student parking. There are currently around 450 parking spots for students, but there will be a little over 500 after the shifts. “It’s actually a gain, even though I understand that it’s a little bit further down,” she said.
Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman added that “These are permanent changes.”
Around 30 spots will be reserved for first years, which Kohlman said is a typical number, and the New Apartments parking will remain the same. The Watson Residence Hall lot will also retain its student spots with around 25 spaces.
Jess Kotnour ’19 lives in a New Apartment this year and parks their car in South 1. They volunteer twice a week off campus and intern at a veterinary office in Mount Vernon once a week at 8 a.m. They said they understand the need for faculty parking, but think that students who work off-campus may not have been taken into account in the decision-making process.
“There’s also students that are having to use their cars for off-campus things that I think Kenyon values and that I think they should value,” they said.
Grant Carr ’19 also parks on campus, but doesn’t think that moving student spots from South 1 to South 2 will be a significant change. “I’ve never found the distance between those to be that noticeable,” he said, but added that upperclass students living north should be given priority in the parking assignments. In the past, parking registration has been prioritized by class year.
Although she said she can’t speak for the student body as a whole, Dixon plans on bringing her own car to campus next year despite the parking changes.
“We’re not trying to discourage students necessarily from bringing cars — that isn’t our intention,” she said. “This is just kind of the way things happened with all of the construction.”
Bill Gardner contributed reporting.