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Many students were upset and confused about the changes the University announced as the new Facilities Planning and Implementation Updates at the end of December.

A new residential hall, to consist of four, six and eight person apartments for upperclassmen, will be built on the current Village parking lot, located between the Village Halls and the library. When construction breaks this February or March, those who have parking passes for this lot will have to find parking elsewhere.

“Students will be relocated to the red lots [behind Jogues Hall] which I recognize as a challenge,” said Director of Residence Life Karen Donoghue.

But Donoghue feels that the outcome will be beneficial.

“This challenge will be worthwhile,” she said.

Senior Chuck Walters, who lives in the apartments, is one student not satisfied with the parking relocation, no matter how beneficial the new halls will be.

“I appreciate Fairfield University’s initiative to create new dorms on campus, as this will help fix some of the ongoing forced triple and housing problems that students have,” he said.

“However, as a student living in the apartments who owns a car and drives regularly, I am not supportive of Fairfield removing our parking lot. Parking is already a problem at the apartments, as it is sometimes impossible to find a parking space, and it only will get worse with less parking available,” continued Walters.

Read another student’s point of view in this week’s Opinion section.

Donoghue said that the Quick Center parking lot will be used for construction vehicles, but that the parking lot will be extended to accommodate the lost spots. Numerically, the University will not be losing parking spots due to the changes.

The plans to create the new apartment building, as well as a new residential hall between Campion and Jogues Halls, are additions to planned renovations to Dolan Hall and St. Ignatius Hall in order to create more housing space for students.

According to Donoghue, the construction plans are aimed at decreasing overcrowding as well as  creating more independent living facilities for upperclassmen.

“By creating these spaces, we are creating a competitive edge to our peer institutions,” she said.

The constructions, which are part of Phase One of the University’s plans to create more housing on campus, were originally supposed to be completed by May 2010. However, due to the recent economy, the Board of Trustees decided to push back the completion date,  according to Donoghue.

Freshman Nora Bajrami, who will have the opportunity to  live in the new apartments, said she is satisfied with the changes, despite the fact that the parking lot will be taken away.

“I don’t have a car so I am okay with it,” she said.

Donoghue said that most of the feedback she has received has been good.

“I’ve been receiving positive feedback from student leaders along with challenges,” she said.

“In my sphere of influence, this is a positive thing for the University.”

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