Karen Farkas, The Plain Dealer

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — Eight years after promising a prominent donor it would name a quadrangle for him, John Carroll University has removed a 250-space parking lot and created a sea of grass from the Dolan Science Center to the Administration Building.

Restoring the lawn, which was paved in 2002 to provide temporary parking when the Dolan center was built, has created challenges for the landlocked campus.

When classes start Monday, officials hope faculty, staff and students park on the second floor of the free parking garage at the University Square shopping center on Cedar Road, about three-quarters of a mile away, and take a shuttle bus to campus. Faculty and staff, who have never had to pay for parking at John Carroll, will receive $150 each semester if they choose that option.

Everyone is also encouraged to carpool, ride a bike or take public transportation. Carol Dietz, associate vice president of facilities, puts a positive spin on the situation on “The Greening of Hamlin Quad” video posted on the college’s website (jcu.edu) that addresses parking.

“If you’re a ‘look for a silver lining’ type, just think of the errands you can do on your way home,” she said of parking at the shopping center.

In an interview Wednesday, Dietz said the grass was restored to fulfill a commitment to donor Richard Hamlin, to promote sustainability on campus by reducing storm-water runoff and to prepare the space for events planned during the university’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2011.

Parking has always been a problem at the university. The city established resident-only parking on some city streets, and students have limited parking options on campus. Many park at a lot on Green Road and take a shuttle to campus.

The university has 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students, 350 full-and part-time faculty and 355 staff and administrators, said spokeswoman Tonya Strong-Charles. It has 1,400 parking spots on campus and 225 spots at the Green Road lot, she said.

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