North Central College hosts groundbreaking ceremony for its new parking pavilion

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More than 75 people came out to North Central College (NCC) Wednesday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony for its new parking pavilion.

Parking pavilion details

The four-story pavilion will be located on what was once the site of the Merner Fieldhouse surface parking lot, near the corner of Highland Avenue and Brainard Street.

It will include 530 parking spaces. The top three floors will be designated for resident and student parking while the first floor will be available to faculty, staff, commuters, and visitors. The new garage will provide a net gain of 427 parking spaces on the North Central campus.

“As we’ve been developing graduate programs, we have more students who really just are commuting in and need the opportunity to park,” said NCC president Dr. Anita Thomas. “So it’s going to help us as we grow as a college, and I also think it’s going to help with relationships with the City of Naperville as well.”

The crowd at Wednesday’s groundbreaking included city officials, North Central leaders, and Illinois State Senator Laura Ellman.

“It’s a sign of growth for the college, but it’s also a sign of their vision and their commitment to students, and making their students’ lives better,” said Ellman. “There’s a large contingent of commuters who come to this school for their education. And instead of having to find a parking spot in downtown Naperville, this is a place where they can park safely, securely, and close to where they need to go.”

Pavilion funding was bolstered by a $10 million grant from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

Safety features in the parking pavilion

Several safety features will be included with the structure, such as LED lighting, interior and exterior cameras, emergency call boxes, and a four-way stop at the Brainard Street and Highland Avenue intersection.

There will also be electric vehicle charging stations, ADA-accessible parking, and two elevators on the east and west sides of the facility.

Rising senior Paige Kozial said she is excited to have a “safe and convenient” option to park her car on campus.

“Walking around on campus, you see the circling of cars, you see the confused look,” said Kozial. “So I definitely think it’s going to help a lot, not only with commuters but also people who come and enjoy the Naperville area.”

The new pavilion is expected to be finished and open for use in January 2024.

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