By Savannah Johnson
While many students feel that the parking on OTC – Springfield’s campus is inadequate for the size of the student body, OTC officials say the facts suggest otherwise.
Springfield’s campus has 9,000 students and 2,600 parking spots, according to OTC Chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon. Each of these spots is usually parked in by different cars up to four times a day, and that’s generally enough to cover the load.
“We are a very small campus,” Dr. Higdon said. “Our farthest parking lot isn’t even that far [from any other part of campus].”
People will spend time driving around one parking lot to find a spot instead of just driving to a lot that’s less full and then walk to their building, Dr. Higdon said. Sometimes people don’t want to spend time walking.
The best times to park is early in the morning, Higdon said.
“It’s easy to find parking before 7:30 or after 1 o’clock,” Dr. Higdon said. “Students that get here early get the best parking.”
From 8:00 a.m. to noon the campus is 92 percent full, which Dr. Higdon said makes for full parking lots.
Other OTC officials agreed that earlier arrival leads to easier parking.
“Get to school 30 minutes early,” Scott Leven, director of security at the OTC Springfield campus, said.
Leven acknowledged that even though there is plenty of parking here on campus people still do complain.
“We could always use more parking if the college starts to grow,” Mr. Leven said.
In the past, students might have been worried about crossing some the streets.
“We are fortunate that nobody has been hit while walking around campus, but that isn’t to say it won’t happen,” Dr. Higdon said.
But crossing streets around campus should be safer now that the road construction to close off Central Street is finished, Dr. Higdon said.
“We spent $1 million, and the city spent $2 million,” Dr. Higdon said, “and it was all about student safety.”
Leven offered another piece of advice.
“Plan an alternate route [to campus] in case. You wouldn’t want to turn the corner to see construction and be late to class because you didn’t have another way to get to campus,” Leven said.
About $300,000 was spent this year alone on the upkeep of the parking lots, such as resurfacing and repainting spots. A tip is to park in a designated parking spot with a yellow line on each side to avoid getting a ticket, Leven said.
“Our grounds-keeping staff does so much to keep our campus looking nice, so please do not park in the grass,” Leven said.