Construction causes serious parking shortage at TRU

By Vanessa Ybarra
September 6, 2017 - 6:07pm Updated: September 7, 2017 - 9:09am

KAMLOOPS — Construction taking place at Thompson Rivers University is expected to cause some big heachaches.

Ironically, the work that's being done over the new months will eventually lead to more parking spots for students but until then those looking for a spot to park their car will find it more challenging than ever.

School officials say it's a small price to pay for progress but that's not sitting well with the Student's Union.

At TRU it appears parking is the biggest stress for students the first day of the new school year.

"I got here an hour early for my class and I have a four hour lull," said one student. "I'm not leaving because I can't find any parking."

"It's definitely hard to find parking right now," said a second student.

"We arrived a half an hour early and I barely made it to my class," said a third frustrated student.

Since early summer, the McGill Road entrance and a former one-hundred stall parking lot have been closed as construction crews expand the space.

"What this does is extend our roadways, creates more parking on the side of roads, plus it gives us the electrical infrastructure that will service the campuses needs for decades to come," said Christopher Seguin, President of Student Advancement at TRU. "We tried our best and threw every available resource at it to get it done before fall but due to complications it dragged through into fall."

That has resulted in fewer parking spaces throughout the university.

"What we expect is lot 'N' will be full and students will have to walk from one space of the campus to the other," said Seguin. "We've changed our regiment so that now there's no staff lots, all lots are open to students and staff to help ease the pressure."

Tatiana Gilbert, President of the TRU Student's Union, says those solutions aren't good enough.

"It's absolutely unacceptable," said Gilbert. "They had a deadline and it should've been met by the end of August."

Gilbert says another parking lot will disappear when construction of the new nursing building begins by the end of the year.

"TRU is such an incredibly diverse university," added Gilbert. "Exciting developments are coming but I think there's a certain responsibility that needs to be held in ensuring these students have a place to park and can get to class. There needs to be a different solution whether it'sa parkade or finding different ways for more parking."

For now TRU students will have to keep their eyes peeled and leave plenty of time.

"Even though this construction and change will inconvenience our students, it'll create more spaces in nuring and science and trades," said Seguin. "What we're asking students to do is add 30 minutes to your agenda in the morning."

Rain relief en route, but not much