The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

New Bollinger parking lot approved

The Eau Claire City Council approved plans Tuesday for a new parking lot to be used for recreational activities at Bollinger Fields.

Construction on the lot is scheduled for this summer, said Director of Facilities Planning and Management Terry Classen. The 100-stall lot should be available for use by the fall semester.

The university will not sell permits for the lot, said Parking and Transportation Services Coordinator Gary Bartlett. Overnight parking will not be allowed, and the lot will be closed for the winter once fall sports conclude.

The lot is the last piece of the development plan for Bollinger Fields, which began in the mid-1980s, said Tom Patt, director of University Recreation. The Bollinger Fields complex, located south of the Shopko Plaza on MacArthur Avenue and Stein Boulevard, is used primarily by sport clubs and intramural teams.

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The lot is intended for use by these groups, whose members currently park on the street and in nearby apartment lots, Patt said, which inconveniences residents and is less safe for students than a well-lit parking lot within the facility. The existing Bollinger lot requires a resident parking permit.

Junior Mike Schatz, a member of the men’s rugby club, said parking on the street or in apartment lots also is less than ideal for students. The team practices five days a week and plays games on Saturdays in the fall, he said.

“They usually get (mad) if we park (at the apartment) every day, so we have to park on the street,” Schatz said.

“When you’re carrying your bag of stuff, it’s a little inconvenient … because it’s not close to where we’re actually practicing.”

The plan includes a row of shrubs to be planted between the lot and the adjacent MacArthur Avenue. The lot and a new asphalt walking path will be lighted for safety.

Other improvements include a storm water pond and five concrete storage bins for temporary storage of maintenance materials such as topsoil or wood chips.

Classen presented the results of a soil report at the request of councilwoman Terri Stanley, who was concerned about the effect of possible toxins in the disturbed soil on those playing on the field. The test found no detectable dioxins or mercury.

“At this point I can’t find anything in that dirt,” Classen told the council.

“The DNR wasn’t even questioning it, and they’re the people who are policing that sort of thing,” he added in an interview.

Testing soil in such a circumstance is “very, very unusual,” Classen said. He said he ordered the test, which, like the rest of the project, was paid through university funds, because he anticipated the challenge.

“We wanted to be prepared for anything,” he said. “… Considering that was an issue, it was appropriate.”

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New Bollinger parking lot approved