The extensive project is estimated to cost $1.5 million.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The first phase of a master plan aimed at enhancing Youngstown State University's main gateway will begin shortly.
The project, estimated to cost $1.5 million, includes extensive renovations to two major adjoining parking lots on University Plaza and Bryson Street.
The project is designed to comply with new storm water drainage regulations and to consolidate parking lots for better main maintenance management and security.
Funding is provided through state capital budget money and YSU parking revenue.
"This portion of University Plaza is the main gateway to the campus," said YSU President David C. Sweet. "It is important that we provide an entrance and a parking environment that reflects the beauty and enhances the safety of the campus."
Revitalizing the lots
The project is the first phase in developing a campus main street extending west from the Smoky Hollow region and the University Courtyard Apartments, across Wick Avenue, along University Plaza, past Kilcawley Center and the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center (set to open shortly), and to Fifth Avenue.
The project involves the M-8 and M-19 parking lots. The lots will be landscaped and surfaced, with new lighting, fencing and walkways that connect the lots to campus.
The project was designed in consultation with several institutions near the parking lots, including Holy Trinity Church on Wick Avenue. The church owns a portion of the lots and leases them to YSU. The church will lease additional property to YSU for more parking space.
The lots will close as early as next week and are expected to open by Aug. 29, the start of fall semester classes.
During construction, visitors and students who usually park in those lots will be able to park in the lot by the closed Wick Pollock Inn on Wick Avenue. Employees who park in the lots may use the M-4 lot on Wick Avenue or the M-1 parking deck on Wick Avenue.
The second phase of the master plan includes widening University Plaza, improving utilities along the street and creating a small parking lot just north of Tod Hall. The second phase is expected to start in the summer of 2006.