Not so ‘NEW’ College – Turbulence between campus and airport

 

The feud between New College students and the Sarasota Airport extends several years and legal cases. Issues ranged from the destruction of a local grove to resentment towards the USF President at the time. In 1987 students brought forth another complaint regarding the airport, this time about the road being built in order to bring traffic towards the airport.

A proposal was drafted by some students in order to negotiate the location of the road and to air their complaints that the school’s right to exist was being ignored by construction of the airport.

“Our campus and the surrounding cultural area have been largely neglected in the airport’s planning,” the proposal reads. “As a result, the new loop road and its estimated traffic flow of 13,000 vehicles per day is slated to pass within a ‘stone’s throw’ of the New College/U.S.F. dorms and student center. This would destroy the tranquil oak hammock  on the eastern edge of our leased property. The proposed new property would also affect planned recreational facilities immediately adjacent to the threatened grove – facilities which represent over 1.5 million dollars of previously allocated student money.”

Attached to the proposal is a design suggestion to relocate the road away from the New College campus. “Our design minimizes, insofar as possible, the loss of parking spaces within the loop road. Mr. Lippert, our engineer, estimates this loss to be 47 spaces out of the total 1400 in the lot.”

The proposal also adds “it is clear even to a layman that the airport will eventually have to build parking garages to provide for expanding demand for spaces.” That need hasn’t been met quite yet.

“At the authority meeting on March 23, we were told that it would be impossible to resite the road because of ‘traffic flow’ considerations. Our current plan resolves these difficulties, moving the road without causing safety or traffic flow problems,” the proposal finishes, followed by the suggested change. The changes are quite minor; a side by side comparison shows only a mild difference in one road.

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