Posted by Philip Poole on 2008-07-02

Summer construction projects are affecting parking and traffic patterns on the Samford University campus.

Traffic patterns are being affected because of the ongoing construction of updated chilling systems around the campus, according to Mark Fuller, Samford's director of energy and utility management.

Montague Drive, the main thoroughfare that circles the campus, was closed June 30 from the Sciencenter on the east side of campus to the northwest corner of campus near Lena Vail Davis Hall. This includes closure of parking lots adjacent to the Sciencenter, Brooks Hall, Memory Leake Robinson Hall (Cumberland School of Law), Brooks Hall and the northeast and north parking decks. The parking lot closures also will have some affect on events scheduled on campus this summer, such as weddings, Fuller said.

Temporary access to the parking lots behind Dwight Beeson Hall and along Riley Road is available off Talbird Circle adjacent to Beeson University Center. Additional handicapped-accessible parking has been added behind Dwight Beeson Hall for access to Davis Library and Robinson Hall. Signs are in place to direct guests and employees to the temporary access to the lots and handicapped-accessible parking.

Once the piping project is complete, the university will resurface Montague Drive from the Sciencenter to Talbird Circle on the west side of the campus. Although the resurfacing project may not be complete before first-year law students arrive for orientation on Aug. 11, plans are to finish before freshman move-in day on Aug. 21.

Fuller said the university is working with event planners and university employees to ensure that parking and access needs are met during the temporary closures. With just a few exceptions, most events for the remainder of the summer are located in buildings and other areas of the campus not directly affected by the street closure.

"Safety is our primary concern, and we are not making these moves unadvisedly or for the sake of convenience," Fuller said in a university-wide message. "We appreciate your cooperation thus far and ask for your indulgence for a little while longer."

These particular projects fit into the university's ongoing "go green" initiatives and will enhance the university's environment, according to Sarah C. Latham, vice president for operations and planning.

"The new chilling system is more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient," Latham said, "which makes the short-term inconveniences worth the long-term impact. We, of course, are always looking for ways to improve both the university's physical operation as well as the environmental resources for which we are the stewards."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.