Campus visitors can expect to take advantage of a new place to park in March, when a three-story parking deck is expected to open in the new Rams Head Center now under construction.
The deck had been expected to open March 1. That has been delayed until later in the month.
A spokesman for the UNC Department of Public Safety said the new deck will accommodate 768 vehicles, with 400 spaces reserved for visitors to campus and 368 reserved for students.
The parking deck’s site – formerly known as the Rams Head parking lot – on Ridge Road south of Kenan Stadium held a total of 399 spaces. Of those, 300 were student permit spaces and 99 were designated for visitors.
The opening of the parking deck will directly impact visitors to the George Watts Hill Alumni Center and The Carolina Club.
Public Safety spokesman Randy Young said that tentative plans include “moving the spaces off Stadium Drive” currently reserved for Alumni Center visitors and “returning those spaces to S4 permit-holders.”
According to Young, the Alumni Center and the GAA “will have the option to reserve spaces [in the Rams Head] if they need to for specific events.”
Parking for visitors to the Alumni Center moved to Stadium Drive when the Rams Head parking lot was demolished to make way for the Ramshead Center. Visitors to the Alumni Center will be able to park in the visitors’ spaces in the parking deck -located between the Alumni Center and Morrison dorm, next to Kenan Stadium – much as they did in the former parking lot.
As for the student spaces, “at least a portion will be a transfer” from the Ehringhaus field lot, Young said. “E-haus field will subsequently be returned to recreation.”
The new visitor spaces should come as a boon, since visitor parking is at a premium on campus. While the parking deck will become the primary visitor lot on campus, Young pointed out that visitors to Carolina can park at the more than 200 metered spaces on campus and at the Morehead Planetarium, the Dogwood Deck, the Ambulatory Care Center lot on South Campus, the Swain Lot near the Ackland Art Museum and the N.C. 54 lot.
Plans for a parking deck near Cobb dorm, dubbed the “Northeast Chiller deck,” also include spaces for visitors. That deck is scheduled to open in fall 2006.