LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A new construction project at UW La Crosse (UWL) will face the issue of parking, as plans are to build a new, 5-level, 550 car parking ramp to replace the 100-car lot south of the Truman T. Lowe Center for the Arts. UWL Director of Planning and Construction, Scott Schumacher, says, “We’re the smallest geographic comprehensive university in the state system. Acreage-wise, we’re the smallest and we are in the middle in terms of enrollment. We have a waiting list of both students and staff that would still purchase parking permits but aren’t able to because we can’t fulfill the spaces.”

Construction will also provide additions to the police services building attached to the university’s other parking ramp. Schumacher adds, “With the levels of training that the police have to go through on an annual ongoing basis, having a proper facility for them to be able to conduct training along with meetings with local officials, it fulfills the program that we originally had hoped to construct with that facility.”

UWL Director of Parking Services, Troy Richter, says this project will be a solution for parking demands on campus, “Since COVID, we have had a significant increase of demand for parking on campus. Currently, we have 675 students on our waitlist list for an annual or a semester permit. This new ramp that will bring about 540 spaces, about just over 440 new spaces, will help put a dent in that.

Richter also believes the ramp will provide help for more than just student parking, “I think this will serve not only our students and employees but guests that we’re bringing to campus, whether it’s for a performance here in the Truman T. Lowe Center for the Arts or even some of our large events like the WIAA State track meet and different events that will be happening on campus.”

Construction of the parking ramp will begin next Spring and is planned to be completed by the fall semester of 2026.

To help with demand during construction, there will be a temporary parking lot on the north side of the Performing Arts Center that will hold 69 cars.