Belhaven University Opens Its New $12 Million Parking Garage
A $12 million parking garage was just completed on the Belhaven University campus. The new five-story parking complex is now open, solving the University’s parking challenges and providing ample parking spaces. The garage was constructed over the existing parking lot between Heidelberg Gymnasium and Dr. Billy Kim International Center. Access is from the two university entrances off Peachtree Street, with one entrance putting drivers at the lowest level of the garage and the other higher in the garage.
Parking has long been a challenge at Belhaven University due to steady growth in enrollment over the years. Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott calls the garage “a game changer” for the campus. “It makes the best use of our land,” he said. “We can’t take up all the limited space with parking. It gives us enough capacity to assure that we could eventually build another residence hall and classroom building in the future.”
The garage's exterior, constructed with brick, blends with the existing buildings on campus. Its design incorporates two below-ground stories, minimizing its visual impact from Peachtree Street.
Beyond its look, this new garage has an applied and practical use. With its central location, the garage provides students with improved access to their classes, dormitories, stadium events, cafeteria, and other essential campus facilities.
Belhaven's leadership recognized the importance of designing a garage that defied the typical perception of parking structures. Dr. Parrott explained, "It is filled with lots of light. Many garages feel scary, but this one is different. Equipped with security cameras and ample lighting, the garage will cater to residential students, faculty, staff, and commuters alike.”
The completion of the parking garage was made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor who gave $12 million for the project. “I’ve been a university president for 33 years, and I never expected anyone to give money for a parking garage,” he said. “It’s pretty remarkable.”
The benefits extend beyond the campus boundaries. Belhaven University has been an integral part of the Belhaven neighborhood for many years, coexisting with residents and facing shared parking challenges. With the completion of the parking garage, some of the strain on neighborhood streets caused by student parking will be alleviated. Virgi Lindsay, a Belhaven resident and representative of Ward 7 on the Jackson City Council, welcomes this development as a positive step for both the neighborhood and the university. Lindsay stated, "We have always had healthy parking issues, and this will help both the neighborhood and University by getting cars off the residential streets."