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JC construction affects parking and dining

Will Strouth

The school year has begun, along with the year-long Johnson Commons renovations, projected to be completed by fall 2013, which aim to create a better dining atmosphere.
Jeffrey Owens, dining services marketing manager, and his crew did not waste any time getting started on the project.
“We all started moving out around the end of May, first of June,” Owens said. “Final move out was done in July, and construction started in the beginning of August.”
As far as foundation reconstruction goes, Owens said the focus is mostly on the general structure of the building.
“There will be a new entry point into the JC West,” he said. “A lot more space and a friendlier atmosphere will also be added.”
Temporary kitchens have been placed in front of the JC East to serve as the food center until the remodel is complete, and, so far, Owens said there have been no problems with the arrangement.
“From what we’ve been getting information on, everybody seems to love the JC East,” he said. “Yes, the lines may be a little bit long, but we get them in and out fairly quickly as well.”
Some students, like art sophomore Joan Floersh, are not quite as optimistic, however.
“When you first go in there it’s OK,” Floersh said. “But when you go in to get food, the lines are extremely long and extremely crowded, and it’s hard to see who is in what line.”
In addition to the dining and serving changes, faculty members are feeling parking pains from the area the construction site is covering.
Director of Parking and Transportation Services Issac Astill said parking on Dormitory Row West, the one-way street from East to West in front of the Johnson Commons, will be blocked due to the construction. From Dormitory Row North, where Galtney Lott Plaza is located, past the parking lot on the west side of Chapel Lane will be without parking as well.
However, Astill said there are ways to accommodate both the faculty unable to park in that area and the hungry students.
“For faculty, they should look at using the new Park-and-Ride routes, as well as focus more on the parking provided by the Vaught Stadium and walking to campus,” he said.
There will also be parking along Meek and Dormitory Row West, but with a catch.
“If (the faculty are) really not here before 8:30 a.m, they’re going to be driving looking for a spot,” Astill said.
Pushing the new Park-and-Ride option, Astill said hopes both faculty and students give the new route a try.
“I really encourage everybody, even if they have a commuter permit, to try that on a regular basis,” he said.
The JC East is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Magnolia Kitchen is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on parking, visit www.olemiss.edu/beautiful an