Effective today, Eastern Michigan University has agreed to let Washtenaw Community College rent 1,000 parking spaces across from Rynearson Stadium, Monday through Thursday.
The parking spaces, across from the stadium on Hewitt Rd., are usually only used by EMU for football games.
According to John Lumm, the Chief Financial Officer, EMU will be paid $30,000 for renting the spaces to WCC for ten weeks, ending March 18 or $50,000 if the deal is extended to April 30.
The use of the money is yet to be determined.
Although the parking is being rented by WCC, EMU still has the right to use the parking for an event or special occasion as long as it gives advance notice to WCC.
Vice President for Communications Walter Kraft said the proposal was WCC’s idea. Unlike EMU, which offers residence halls and apartments for its students to live in, WCC requires all of their students to commute.
“Meanwhile, their population continues to grow,” Kraft said.
The increase in the college’s growth has increased the need for more parking at WCC.
WCC Associate Director of Public Affairs Janet Hawkins said the college’s population growth is due mostly to the economy.
“More and more people are returning to school to upgrade their skills and individuals faced with job loss are coming back to retrain,” Hawkins said. “High school students and families are looking to WCC as well for its cost and MACARO transfer agreements.”
According to Kraft, few EMU students ever parked in this area.
“Normal day to day weekday, it’s empty,” Kraft said.
The small number of students parking across from Rynearson is due to its remote location from classrooms.
“Everyone wants to be close to their classes,” said Kraft.
WCC is hopeful renting the scarcely used parking spaces will be the answer to their parking problems.
“It is empty and their parking is in a real crunch,” said Kraft. “University gets the benefit from Washtenaw.”
WCC will be responsible for the maintenance of the parking spaces.
The parking lot is not within walking distance of WCC either. The possibility of a shuttle running from the parking to the college has been suggested by the college.
WCC will have use of the spaces Monday through Thursday.