Parking changes: all part of CCU master plan

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Several new parking lots were just built at Coastal Carolina University and are becoming an issue for students. The lots are located off campus.

"It might take you 10 to 15 minutes just to find a parking spot," said Zac Small, a senior at CCU.

Small says this year things aren't how they used to be. Students can no longer park right in front of their building for class. Instead, they have to park in one of the three new lots right off campus.

"You want to be able to just drive to class, park right in front of the building, get in, get out easily, but now it's going to take probably 20 to 30 minutes longer than you expected," said Small.

If you ask President David DeCenzo about this problem, his answer will be short and sweet.

"We don't have a parking problem, we have a walking problem," laughed chuckled DeCenzo.

He says changing the parking situation is all part of the school's master plan from 2011. The plan has always been to move parking off campus so they could develop more, on campus.

Within the next three years they hope the horseshoe, Chanticleer Drive, will be completely car-free during school hours.

"The more that we can open up the walking traffic on campus, the safer it's going to be," said DeCenzo.

While students say it's impossible to find a parking spot, the president says they need to be open to new locations.

"If you drive to the other parking lot you'll see there are many, many empty slots, it's just not right in front of the building where their classes are held," DeCenzo said.

He says there are actually more parking spots than ever before. Other than across the street, students can park in one lot near Highway 501 or another off Highway 544.

He believes the biggest change needed on campus is one in behavior.

"There aren't two spots on this campus that you can't casually stroll and get to that takes more than ten minutes," he said.

CCU will also look to add a three-way stop light on University Boulevard to help students cross the road safely.

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