Parking lot being torn down for Keck expansion won’t immediately be replaced

The front of Keck Science Building
A new Keck Science building will be replacing some parking lot space. (Anna Horne • The Student Life)

The W.M. Keck Science Department’s long awaited expansion will finally break ground next semester. But it’ll eliminate a critical parking lot for faculty and staff that won’t be immediately replaced, a spokesperson said.

The parking lot, which has 57 spaces, is located directly south of the Revelle House, the former residence of the Scripps College president where about 20 students now live, according to Scripps College spokesperson Rachael Warecki.

A project to add parking to the Platt Boulevard median between Scripps and Harvey Mudd College completed in summer 2018 partially made up for the lost spots by adding 31 spaces for student parking, Josh Reeder, executive director of facilities management and auxiliary operations, said via email. 

He didn’t say whether any staff or faculty parking had been added anywhere.

The Vita Nova parking lot with cars and trees
Keck Science will be replacing parking lot space with a new building in order to expand. (Anna Horne • The Student Life)

Reeder additionally said a review of all the parking spaces is currently being conducted at Scripps to evaluate the impacts and possible replacement of parking.

The expansion follows Claremont McKenna College’s decision in fall 2018 to withdraw from Keck and create its own science department. Construction on Scripps’ and Pitzer College’s new Keck building will begin on Feb. 7, 2020, pending approval from the City of Claremont Architectural Commission, Warecki said.

Architects considered “several possible locations” for the building, but the Revelle parking lot was the best option because of its “connectivity to the existing Keck Science Center,” Keck Dean Ulysses Sofia said via email.

For Sheetal Gandhi, who works in Scripps’ dance department, the Revelle parking lot is the only designated parking area convenient to her building, which is directly west of the lot.

“There’s not another designated space that I know of that’s close to this department,” she said. “This is the only [parking lot] I’ve parked in.”

In terms of replacing the parking area, Gandhi said, “they’d have to come up with something where they’d have as many spaces as we have right now because there’s not a lot of space on the street.”

Scripps professor Marina Pérez de Mendiola also depends on the Revelle lot for parking. 

“I believe that other parking solutions will have to be considered in the plan to expand Keck,”  she wrote via email to TSL. “There are already very few parking structures.”

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