Overflow parking for EHS events available at old hospital property

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NW0120 EHS Overflow Parking

As construction continues on the Elizabethton High School campus for the new athletic complex, parking may be limited at the school for some events.
If no parking can be found on the EHS campus, overflow parking is available at the old Carter County Memorial Hospital property, Interim superintendent Corey Gardenhour said Monday.
“The city approved the use of that property as overflow parking for when none was available at the high school,” Gardenhour said.
Gardenhour said parking generally is not an issue at the school except for when high-volume events are held, such as certain sporting events and the upcoming homecoming basketball game.
“When we have these high-turnout events, it can get a little crowded and parking can become an issue,” he said.
Gardenhour said he wants to make sure visitors to school events are parking in the designated overflow area and not in the parking lot of the shopping center across Bemberg Road.
Some of the businesses in the Ingles shopping center have noticed an increase in non-shopper parking and a decrease in business since construction on the new stadium has started.
Fred Reece, manager at Petsense, said that on the last two basketball game nights, his customers remarked on the extra vehicles in the lot.
“It was a full lot, but the store was virtually empty,” Reece said. “We had four or five customers who commented they had to park way up above Ingles.”
Reece said cars were parked in all the available spaces and in the grass surrounding the center.
“There were cars everywhere,” he said.
Ryan Buchanan, manager of Hibbett Sports, reported a similar problem for the sporting goods store on game nights.
“Usually, the parking lot is full and no one is in the stores,” Buchanan said. “On graduation days, you kind of expect it because of all the families coming in but this is new during basketball games.”
Buchanan said none of the customers at Hibbett Sports have made complaints about the additional cars in the lot. Buchanan said the extra visitors could be a positive for business in his store.
“Sometimes it may help because if the players need anything before a game, they would be right here to stop in and get what they need,” he said.
Issues for the businesses seemed to be limited to those on the western end of the shopping center closest to the school.
Ingles Manager Chasity McQueen said no customer complaints had been made on parking and the employees of the store had not noticed any additional parking in front of the grocery store.
Gardenhour said he hoped the notice of where overflow parking was supposed to be would help the businesses.
“We want to be good neighbors, and we want to be supportive of those businesses,” Gardenhour said. “We ask that people not park in the shopping center’s parking lot but park at the hospital property instead.”

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