A few weeks ago, students were banned from parking in the old YMCA parking lot. Those who used the lot were confused and angry.
“I’m livid,” junior Caleb Miofsky said about the closure.
The decision was heralded with only an announcement a few days before. Following this, a fence was put up in front of the entrance to the lot.
Mara Perry, city director of planning and development, is aware of this controversy, as well as many others the apartments proposed to be constructed on the property have caused. There is currently a lawsuit, one of the residents near the property as the plaintiff, about the construction of the property as a whole.
“Anything like this [construction project] could be controversial in any community,” Perry said.
The YMCA parking lot has been a convenient place for students to park since the facility closed in 2015. However, a developer called Ridgehouse Capital bought the property to build the apartment complex, called Ridgehouse Apartments. Ridgehouse Capital recently gained control over the property.
According to Perry, the YMCA did not have any issue with students parking in the lot after the closure of the facility. Following the change in ownership, Ridgehouse Capital decided to put up the fence. It does not have insurance on the current facility, including the parking lot, so, if there were to be an injury on the property, the developer would be held accountable.
However, while this might clear up some of the confusion as to why the fence was put up, students still feel frustrated.
“It really does screw over everyone who doesn’t have a parking pass,” junior Will Starr said.
As to how the problem can be fixed, there aren’t many easy solutions.
The most expensive one would be to build a new parking lot. To construct a parking lot similar in size to the ones currently on Selma Avenue. would be upwards of $50,000, according to Ohio Paving and Construction. There is also very little space to do so.
The problem that the students had the most issue with was finding parking and having to walk to the high school.
“All of the side streets are no parking,” Miofsky said.
Students have to get to school as early as 7 a.m. to get a spot. If a student were to find a spot near the south side of the building at this time, he or she would have to walk from his or her spot, all the way to the senior entrance.
Junior Cecily Schmanske proposed, “We could have one [staff member] at each entrance.” This would limit the distance those students who park on the south side of the building have to walk.
The YMCA parking lot closure has caused many headaches for students. However, the students interviewed do admit that it hasn’t affected their academic abilities, and while the extra walk is a bit of a nuisance, most students are adjusting to the situation.
This is news editor Ethan Weihl’s first year on ECHO staff. He is excited to begin his work on the ECHO. He has not decided on college yet, but he wants to major in Political Science and Journalism.
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