June 17, 2019 | 78° F

Skelly field parking plan stirs debate

During this past semester, the building of a parking lot on part of Skelly Field has been the center of controversy. The expansion of the parking lot would be to replace the parking spaces lost after the construction of the new Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health.

There were various statements from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council, the University and concerned students about whether or not a parking lot should be built on the field.

The field was originally believed to be an Environmental Protection Agency protected wetland, but the University later confirmed that the land had been evaluated by the Department of Environmental Protection in June and the area of proposed construction was not a wetland, with the surrounding area merely considered a swale, or a marshy land of ordinary resource value.

The SEBS Governing Council released a formal letter in October stating that they were against any construction on the field.

Rutgers has raised more than $75 million in funding for the new Food Science Building and if the remaining money is not spent on the new parking lot after the University completes the project, these funds could be spent on academics, said Robert Goodman, the executive dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

The parking lot is being expanded to create about 60 to 90 parking spots for the 131 the Food Science building displaced said Anthony Calcado, vice president of University Facilities and Capital Planning

The new institute plans to include the addition of the Willets Health Center, which is moving from its old location, he said. This should create even more need for parking due to the increase of people going to the institute.

By Danielle Gonzalez

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