As the new Tiedtke Theatre & Dance Centre is under construction, the Rollins community is adapting to new parking limitations.
In a campus-wide email, Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services Jeremy Williamson said that the Alfond Sports Center parking lot will be shut down while construction takes place. The parking lot has been fenced off since Nov. 5 and was formally declared off-limits on Nov. 8.
Williamson said that the Tiedtke Theatre & Dance Centre is expected to be completed in late 2022. In the meantime, he asked that cars be parked in “either the SunTrust or Rollins Garage, or other on-campus parking.”
Williamson also noted that parking will not be available on Chase Avenue while the project is underway, and that there may be times when the road is unavailable. Chase Avenue is the road that runs alongside the Alfond Sports Center, flanked by the Cornell Hall for the Social Sciences.
Vice President of Campus Safety and Security Ken Miller said that “[parking] will get a bit tighter on campus with us losing 85 more or less spaces, but we should be able to handle the volume between the Rollins and SunTrust garages.”
The Tiedtke Theatre & Dance Centre will be a 16,165-square-foot space located north of the Keene Music Hall near the Annie Russell Theatre. Contributing writer Elsa Wenzel wrote in an article for Rollins360 that the Centre’s location will “[anchor] a creative neighborhood of the arts on campus.” The space will have not only a performance space but also a design lab and classrooms for students.
While the project will not add new parking to the Alfond Sports Center, Miller said that the northern part of the parking lot will be modified “to better serve motorcycle/scooter, handicap, visitor, and athletic bus parking.”
Responses to the parking limitations have been mixed. Omar Sadek (‘23) said that the Alfond lot is primarily used for faculty parking, meaning that students who park on campus will be impacted due to displaced faculty.
On Nov. 17, the Office of Campus Safety and Security sent out an email that ensured disabled students still have access to adequate parking. The college will install signs that will label the entire Warren Administration parking lot as handicap parking, which will be enforced for the duration of both the Centre’s construction and the remediation of Warren Administration building.
“I think it’s really nice that the college is acknowledging that handicap parking on campus is an issue,” said Carson Holmes-Boring (‘23). “I use handicap parking, and available spots on campus are tight to begin with.”
Those who need to park further away from their destinations may reach out to Accessibility Services, Title IX, Human Resources, Athletic Training, or the Wellness Center to be placed on the courtesy escort list. Students will also be informed of any further parking limitations that occur due to specific construction activities.
Some students have taken to Yik Yak to express their frustrations with parking. Yik Yak is an app that allows individuals to post short comments anonymously to other users within the same geographic area.
“F— this new building, be making me have to walk the long way to get to tarpotle [Cornell Café]. Also why tf are we getting rid of parking. do better rollins,” one user posted on Nov. 10.
For Solomon Brooks (‘25), complaints from students do not encompass the bigger picture.
“To be a student here at Rollins, you have all of your needs met within walking distance or biking distance,” Brooks said. ”It is a privilege for you to be able to drive on campus and, even then, the benefits that the Theatre [and Dance] department is gonna be getting by getting this new building hugely outweigh the one parking lot that’s going […] It’s so much more than just ‘oh we’re losing a parking space,’ and if that’s all you’re focusing on then you’re missing the larger educational benefits that this is going to have.”