By Amar Kadapia
After three years of planning, approvals, appeals and more approvals, the Westminster Choir College (WCC) parking lot will finally add 93 new spaces, according to Vice President of Facilities and Auxiliary Services Mike Reca.
In February of 2011, Rider won an appeal to build a new parking lot consisting of 93 spaces at WCC in a ruling that went against Princeton residents’ efforts to protest the Princeton Regional Planning Board’s decision. Two months later, a group of residents filed an appeal against the lot and a case was taken to the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division. According to the residents, their unhappiness lay in the undisclosed master plan for the parking lot. Many also feared that the market value of their homes would decrease with the addition of the lot. Rider has since won the case and the appeal.
“Westminster students are really looking forward to the future construction of an expanded parking lot on campus,” said WCC Student Government Association president Anna Friars. “Our students are extremely passionate about this issue and acknowledge greatly the positive impact it would have. The administration has done an outstanding job at fighting for this particular need of our student body I believe sincerely that this may be one of the most important priorities for past, present and future students of the choir college.”
“The total number of spaces will increase from 284 to 377,” Reca said. “The recommended number of space from the Princeton Planning Board for a campus the size of Westminster is 440. It will cost $900,000, an amount that will be supported by the University Operating Budget.”
Reca added that in addition to new parking spaces, there will also be improved lighting, better drainage and new landscaping.
“This lot will provide more parking options for all students, staff, faculty and visitors,” he said. “It is definitely something they all need.”