Plan on parking away from conference center

Questions about parking continue to roll in. The first question below is a combination of three similar questions. If you have a query about parking changes, contact

Q: Does the university anticipate that the new parking garage for the conference center will be at capacity every day? Could one floor be assigned for employee/faculty parking, except during specific events when the lot might actually be full? Why are there no plans to include faculty/staff parking in the conference center’s new parking garage?

A: The hotel-conference center complex is scheduled to open in January 2008. During the construction cycle, which could begin as early as this summer, drivers will have to find other areas to park, which is why a variety of changes are under way.

The current plan calls for the parking garage adjacent to the conference center to have about 400 spaces, with about 140 of those reserved for hotel guests and visitors. Conference-goers will have access to the remaining spaces.

Because of changing schedules for conferences and the fluctuating number of people attending, designated or scheduled parking for NAU employees would be impractical. Parking in the conference center garage will be managed on a daily basis, and some spaces may be available for NAU employees at certain times. However, anyone parking in the conference center garage would pay a rate separate from NAU parking rates for faculty, staff and students.

Q: Is it in the plan to build a north campus parking garage separate from the one included as part of the conference center complex?

A: A north campus NAU parking garage is about two years away from breaking ground. It will be a separate facility, located somewhere near Lumberjack Stadium.

Q: What is being done to promote telecommuting as a way to cut down on both traffic and competition for parking spaces? Are there guidelines for supervisors to follow to determine if an employee should be approved to telecommute?

A: There is no particular emphasis being placed on telecommuting as a way to deal with parking changes. The parking changes will be with us for the foreseeable future, and most jobs are not well suited to telecommuting. Some jobs may be suited to telecommuting on an occasional or short-term basis. Telecommuting is addressed as one of the options in the NAU Personnel Policy on Flexible Work Schedules, Policy 2.07. Human Resources can provide guidance on procedures to follow when implementing options under this policy.

Q: How does the elimination of the tennis courts impact the tennis program (e.g. no outdoor venue for practice, minimum facilities for an NCAA team, etc.)? How does the elimination of the tennis courts impact recreational and PE opportunities to play tennis? How does the conversion of the fieldhouse to accommodate tennis impact alternative recreation users (e.g. noon basketball, intramurals, etc.)?

A: The elimination of the outdoor tennis courts will likely have an immediate impact on both NCAA and recreational tennis.

The number of competitive courts will change from six outdoor to four indoor courts, which may decrease the amount of court time student-athletes have. As a result of the move, however, NAU may be able to host NCAA matches, which was impractical in the past. Tournaments are now held in both Sedona and Phoenix.

The tennis teams also are examining the possibility of practicing at off-campus facilities.

Alternatives for general recreational tennis and intramural tennis are being explored.

The tennis courts in the fieldhouse will be constructed with a multi-use surface that will help reduce the impact resulting from the loss of the outdoor courts by allowing uses in addition to tennis. Of course, that could result in less tennis time.

The use of the new courts will be reserved primarily for intercollegiate teams and some instructional classes during morning and early afternoon hours. The scheduling of the fieldhouse during the more traditional student use times in the afternoons and evenings will remain similar to the past academic year.