Senior Colton Gority gets to school 25 minutes early and still has to park on the street. He’s not happy about it.
“I find it absolutely ridiculous that seniors don’t have reserved spots,” he said.
In 2017, the B-A administration changed the rules for parking in the lot, and according to Colton and others like him, “the only thing that is different is that there is less spots.”
The system works on a first-come-first-serve basis, giving out more passes than there are spots. Anyone can apply for permission to park in the lost, but there are no assigned spots.
“I always get called out of class to get my car out of teacher spots,” Colton said. “It takes away from my learning time, also it confuses me because when I got my license I had to park on the side street as a younger student.”
Over the summer of 2018 Bellwood-Antis resurfaced its parking lot putting in new pavement and painting new lines.
Junior John Kost said “the new lot looks great,” while principal Richard Schreier said “the parking company did a great job on the lot and repainting the lines. I think the maintenance was much needed.”
The parking lot affects everyone. Over half of the class of 2020 are licensed drivers with more to come throughout the year. Out of the senior class, most are driving or carpooling with each other to school each day. Last year students ran into the same problem they’re facing this year: not enough spots for the amount of licensed drivers.
Mr. Schreier said, “Parking is a privilege just like being on any sports team.” He compared it to playing on a team, where there is no guarantee to get a starting spot. “As far as getting a spot, it is just the luck of the draw.”
On top of parking being a privilege, students shouldn’t feel entitled to a spot, Mr. Schrier said.
“Each student is offered a free and appropriate public education. Sometimes they need to park on the street, walk, carpool, or ride the bus.”
Senior Trentin Whaley said he could see both sides of the issue.
“I feel as if it is somewhat fair because whoever has a pass can park in the lot. It is also first-come-first-serve system which is straight up,” said Trentin.
On the other end of the spectrum, junior Brenin Abbott said, “I think there should only be enough parking passes for the number of spots.” However, Mr. Schrier said recent changes to the rule were done “in the effort to be fair.
Kost said the argument is pointless for an issue he considers minor.
“When it comes down to it your car just sits there. It isn’t a big deal if you park in the lot or an extra 50 feet away on the side street. I think we should focus our energy into more serious and or beneficial problem in the school,” he said.
Because so many students seem unhappy with the parking rules, the BluePrint asked students how they would change the parking lot regulations.
“Expand it, that is the only problem, size of the school to the size of the lot,” said Kost.
Whaley agreed, saying an auxiliary parking lot could help.
“I feel like I would try to find space for another parking lot, because our parking lot here in Bellwood is by far one of the smallest around.”
Mr. Schreier said adding new parking spaces is a virtual impossibility.
“I would love more parking spots for students, however we are a land locked campus. We have to be careful with the limited space that we have available,” he said.
Not everyone is satisfied with the answer.
“Why is it that I am a senior and don’t even get a reserved spot? I shouldn’t have to camp out overnight so I get a spot the next day,” Colton said.