By: Towerlight staff report
Towson University will relocate its main campus to west of Osler Drive in order to improve access to parking on that side of campus, University officials announced today.
The move comes after student complaints about the lack of parking in the Union, Towsontown and Glen parking garages.
“I don’t understand why I have to pay hundreds of dollars for parking, only to then have to park a million miles away and hike to my class,” a Towson senior said. “It’s infuriating. Anyway, I have to run. I’m going Uptown.”
Administrators have long reminded students that they can park in Lots 13, 14, 20 and 21, but the suggestion has been met with continued dissatisfaction from students.
“We’ve heard students’ concerns,” said Director of Construction Services Scott Guckert. “There’s plenty of parking on campus – just not where people want it to be. So, we thought ‘well, if we can’t bring parking to this side of campus, why don’t we bring campus to that side of parking?’ So, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The project, which is set to begin this fall and continue through 2022, will consist of a total excavation of all academic, residential, dining and administrative buildings east of Osler Drive. Construction crews will then transport complete buildings to the areas near Johnny Unitas Stadium and SECU Arena.
Due to the limited amount of space on the west side of campus, buildings will not only be closely packed – some will even be stacked on top of each other.
“For example, we’re going to put the Glen Towers and the Residence Tower on top of each other to create one mega Tiger Tower,” Guckert said. “Some people might say this sounds impractical – even impossible – but I really think it’s going to bring students closer together.”
Still, some students are not pleased with the upcoming relocation.
“I already get lost trying to find my physics class in Smith Hall,” a Towson sophomore said. “Imagine how difficult it’s going to be when I have to deal with Smith, the CLA and the Towson Run apartments all in the same building. Not to mention having to dodge projectiles from the rooftop soccer field.”
However, Towson University President Kim Schatzel wanted to assuage students’ concerns.
“The senior leadership team and I are here to support you,” Schatzel said. “Once Towson completes its relocation, we will be giving personal tours of the new combined complexes.”
In addition to her current duties as president, Schatzel will also be leading tours through the Scarborough-Stephens-Cook Library-Unitas Stadium complex.
“On your right you’ll see our 24/7 study space and on your left you can find two roommates arguing over who cleaned the bathroom last,” Schatzel said, in a sneak peek rehearsal of her tour for The Towerlight. “Now, we’re about to go outside, so mind your heads. Our winning women’s lacrosse team is in the middle of practice.”
The current main campus space will be converted into an expanded Glen Arboretum to replace the trees that were cut down for the construction of the science complex. The new Glen woods will add approximately 2,000 trees to campus.
Moving entire buildings is no cheap task, but Acting Vice President of Administration and Finance Robert Campbell said he thinks the project will be worth the expense.
“It’s going to be costly, but think about everything that we’ll gain in the long run,” Campbell said. “Better access to west campus parking. A better sense of community. And now I only have to walk down the hall to get to my yoga class at Burdick.”
To help pay for the project, Towson University will cancel Tigerfest for the next five years.
According to the Campus Activities Board, this year’s Tigerfest artists will not perform as planned. However, they will be replaced by a wrestling match between two TU alumnae.
In one corner will be Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman finalist of American Ninja Warrior and a current WWE Superstar.
In the other corner will be Stacy Keibler, an actress and former WWE Superstar.
The two women said they are both excited to fight for the title of the 2018 Towson University Wrestling Champion.
Catanzaro and Keibler will battle it out at SECU Arena on April 15, exactly two weeks after April 1.
Happy April Fool’s Day, Towson!