WKU parking offers backup plans with HS fans in BG

Nick Bratcher

An expected 35,000 high school football fans will be pouring onto campus Friday and Saturday as WKU hosts the KHSAA state football championships.

Campus parking is making some changes to accommodate for the influx of visitors. This will require some extra measures by students today and tomorrow.

Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking Services, said it’s important for students, faculty and staff to be aware of what’s coming.

“It’s an unusual circumstance to try and plan for 35,000 people to visit our campus over two days, so that’s why the changes are going into effect,” Tougas said. “They’re going to be here regardless.

“We have two choices: we can plan for it or let it be a free for all. We’ve chosen to plan for it.”

Both the commuter Parking Structure No. 2 — located between Diddle Arena and Smith Stadium — and the Creason Lot will be used exclusively for paid public parking all day, closing the Topper Transit bus stop there.

Parking and Transportation required all students to remove their vehicles from the Creason Lot by 5 p.m. Thursday to avoid a $100 fine. Students displaced by the lot’s closing should park in other housing lots or Chestnut Street South Lot through Sunday, Tougas said.

A temporary Gables bus stop will be added at the intersection of Robinson Drive and Creason Drive at the Gable Apartment Complex. Commuters can also find parking in the gateway garage that is across from the Student Life Foundation gravel lot.

Tougas said commuter students who typically park in PS2 or Chestnut South Lot should also use the Center Street Gravel Lot or the park and ride lots which shuttle students from South Campus to main campus.

Buses run from the Campbell Lane and South Campus lots every five to eight minutes for commuting students.

The surface lots around Diddle Arena, the South Lawn Lot between the Downing University Center and Preston Health and Fitness Center, and the Russellville Road Lot will also be reserved exclusively for game officials and media.

Parking Structure No. 1 — located up the Hill from Diddle Arena on Avenue of Champions — will be used for excess public parking starting at 3 p.m. on Friday and continuing into all day Saturday. Unlike the Creason Lot, housing students parked in the structure are not required to move their vehicles.