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X Marks the [Parking] Spot: New Parking Lot on Mauch Chunk Road

John Desmond

John Desmond

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Moravian College students were welcomed back to campus this year with a new parking lot, Lot X, which promises to alleviate the College’s persistent parking shortage. 

The new lot has much more than just a fresh coat of paint and tar. It features blue safety lights, security cameras, 202 regular parking spots, and seven handicapped spots.

Lot X is meant to serve students who do not have premium parking on North Campus.

“[The lot] provides a centralized location for resident student parking near student housing, to alleviate some of the parking congestion near the academic buildings,” said Amber Donato, associate director of planning and project management.

The College had many issues to consider when it created the lot, including the lot’s location and the safety of students who would be walking to and from it.

“The first thing we had to do was negotiate the purchase of the old Damper Design building and associated property. Given that this was a manufacturing facility, there were environmental concerns that came with the purchase of the site,” said Donato. “Prior to demolishing the building, we had an environmental consultant remove all contaminants as required by PA state regulations. After proper disposal of all contaminants, the company was then able to proceed with demolition. Any materials that were able to be recycled, including steel and concrete, were recycled.”

The peculiar shape of the parking lot was a challenge for the team leading the design, as was its proximity to Monocacy Creek.

“The new asphalt surface sits on top of the building slab in some locations. This building slab limited our earth disturbance while also providing a stable and reusable base for the parking lot,” said Donato.

A sidewalk will be built to address safety concerns.

If you travel down behind the Hillsides and other residential areas that sit near Mauch Chunk Road you’ll find an orange barricade leading to the new lot. The barricade acts as a temporary walkway and will remain in place until construction of a permanent sidewalk begins in the summer of 2018.

There is more to come besides a sidewalk, however. The project will also introduce stormwater piping behind Burnside, Antes, de Schweinitz, and Beck housing, which will collect the rainwater from the area and lead it into new piping below the new sidewalk. This will prevent stormwater from running onto Mauch Chunk Road.

Many students are enjoying the new addition to campus because the lot is located close to many dorms.

“It’s much more convenient, especially since I have clinical twice a week, and work,” said Casidhe Holoboski, ‘19. “If Lot X didn’t exist, I’d have to walk to Lot T, and that’s just so far and dangerous, especially in the winter.”

Kayla Troutman, ‘18, likes the lot’s proximity to campus, especially the dorm buildings. “It’s just a quick two minute walk down — or hike up — to get to my car! There are an ample amount of spaces that reassure me I will always be able to find a spot to park at any time.”  

The new construction of Lot X has done much to address the the lack of parking at Moravian and, in the process, put a challenging parcel of land to very good use.

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