COLUMBUS — A new paved parking lot at Scotus Central Catholic will move more vehicles off the street.
Located just north of the school, the lot will provide about 50 stalls for students and the public.
“Hopefully within a month kids will be parking on it,” said Scotus President Jeff Ohnoutka.
The school acquired property north of Dowd Activity Center for additional parking so students won't have to leave their vehicles on the streets.
“It’s a safety issue to have kids park on the side street, especially 18th Avenue,” Ohnoutka said.
Often, students park blocks away from the school on the streets and avenues, creating congestion and obstacles for large vehicles such as school buses to maneuver around.
Students have access to the parking lot at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, but it can be closed when there are funerals or other church events. When that happens, more students are forced to use street parking.
The school bought and demolished homes to the north of the building at 1551 18th Ave., the latest at the corner of 18th Avenue and 16th Street, which was purchased a couple of years ago.
After the last house was razed, crushed rock was added to use the area for temporary parking and bus storage until the paving occurred earlier this month.
The lot still needs to be striped for stalls before it can be used. The project is being completed by Bierman Contracting of Columbus.
Ohnoutka said a total cost for the project has yet to be determined. About $125,000 from the Scotus Education Fund was earmarked for hard-surfacing and landscaping the parking lot. That fund is mainly used for tuition assistance and special projects.
The parking lot will be available to the public during athletic events and other activities at the school. It's expected to greatly reduce the number of vehicles parked on side streets during the school year.
“It won’t eliminate all of it, but a good portion of it,” Ohnoutka said.