7th Street parking lot closed for construction

Blake Warman, Staff Reporter

Seventh Street parking lot will be under construction for the extraction of three underground gas tanks.

The current construction going on is the removal of three 40,000-gallon tanks that Eastern is currently not using. These tanks were previously used to hold fuel oil to heat boilers for the former coal-fired heating plant.

The reason for the removal of these gas tanks is because they are currently not in use and are not needed to power the plant.

“The reason for removing the tanks is because we currently don’t use them,” said Eric Wahls, the construction project coordinator for the Facilities, Planning and Management department.

Wahls said the tanks are currently not leaking but it’s best to remove them now in case an issue like that were to happen in the unforeseen future.

Vicki Woodard, the coordinator of public information in media relations, said the construction of this project will cost $416,000.

“The project will be funded by the state through the Illinois Jobs Now! Program,” Woodward said.

She also said the finished parking lot will be very similar to the current lot. The construction may possibly remove a few landscape islands that would add few parking spots.

The Seventh Street parking lot, which is located east of Eastern’s water tower, will be closed while under construction. During the construction visitor parking spaces will be temporarily relocated to the administrative reserved spots in X-Lot, south of the cultural center.

When the storage tanks are removed the parking lot will be restored for continued use by staff and guests. The construction will continue from July 5 through Aug. 15.

Blake Warman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].