FLORENCE — Some University of North Alabama students will have to change their routine when classes resume after the holiday break.
Freshman commuter students parking in the off-campus lot on Florence Boulevard will be moved to a parking lot at Woodmont Baptist Church on Darby Drive.
The move is necessary because of construction in the shopping center area where students currently park. Wal-Mart is preparing a section of that area for building a store in the shopping center that formerly housed Kmart.
The university rented 180 parking spaces in the lot. Students are transported on UNA shuttle buses from the lot to campus and back.
University officials have signed a lease agreement with Woodmont Baptist Church for 180 parking spaces in the church’s parking lot at the corner of Darby Drive and Rickwood Road.
There are three parking lots at Woodmont Baptist Church, but the only one UNA is contracted to use is the lot across Rickwood Road from the church sanctuary.
The university began requiring all commuter freshmen students to park off campus in 2011.
University spokesman Josh Woods said because of the proximity of the two lots, he does not expect much disruption in the shuttle routes.
University police patrol the off-campus parking lot and will continue that routine with the new parking lot, officials said.
In fact, Woods said the new lot may be a safer.
“There are cars parked in that area during the day because of the preschool and church staff at the church already,” Woods said. “It is a safe area already, and there will be increased visibility in the new location.”
UNA also leases parking spaces in the downtown Florence parking deck. Both lots are open to all commuter students, but only freshmen are required to park in the off-campus lots and be bussed to campus.
Jennifer Edwards can be reached at 256-740-5754