Shepherd University classes have been back in session for almost a month now, and town residents can certainly feel one serious repercussion of the student influx: lack of parking.
For years, area officials have striven to urge local and state lawmakers to help fund a parking garage for the town. Shepherd University is committed to seeing it through, as officials there know parking can be a problem.
We at The Shepherdstown Chronicle do not want this to read that students are a hindrance to the town, and that the university should not grow. It should. Shepherd has been a wonderful asset to the town, bringing jobs and creating business for local operations downtown.
However, when a university grows, its facilities should grow with it. We have had leaders in the past come to the area and recognize the need for such a structure.
Last October, House Speaker Rick Thompson said funding was a must.
"The ... meeting truly clarified how great the need is for this parking garage," he said in October 2010.
Delegate Tiffany Lawrence said in October 2010 this problem has been years in the making.
"The shortage of parking has been a problem since I was class president here 10 years ago. With the growing population, this problem has become a top priority," said Delegate Tiffany Lawrence of the 58th District.
Lawrence added, "The governor has already agreed the project is worthwhile. Now it's just a question of when."
We hope, as town residents rally around this idea as the gubernatorial race draws near, that they iterate the real problem here. It is not just a parking problem. It is a residential issue. It is an economic issue for area businesses. And something needs to be done.
Read more about it in this week's Doyle Report and in next week's edition of The Chronicle.