Student parking switched for back to school



Due to space and security issues, students accustomed to parking by the football field will need to change their morning routines. 

Students are now expected to park in what was formerly known as the staff parking lot, directly across from the front circle and atrium entrance. Staff will park in old student lot. 

Dean of students Robert Gallinelli said the swap will reduce the amount of students leaving school from the athletic doors, and make commuting easier for students. “By spring, we have students parking there anyway,” said Gallinelli. “It is just easier to have them park in the lot from the beginning.”

Principal James Cook said the athletic door traffic has become a safety issue.

“There was a real safety issue by that door being propped open all the time for students to get to their cars,” said Cook at the senior assembly. “What we are responsible for is your safety, and we are not able to do that with that door perpetually open.”

NHS president Matteo Ferrara said this solution not worth the potential problems it could create for students. 

“I believe that this is an overreaction to a problem caused by a small amount of people. Most drivers in high school are inexperienced and a smaller parking lot could result in additional problems. Speaking for the students, it would be much easier if nothing were changed.”

Some student athletes have expressed concerns.

“This is not beneficial for students, especially those who are athletes,” said GHS junior and Field Hockey captain Kelsey Lowthers. “As soon as 2:07 hits, all GHS athletes that can drive will go out to their cars and drive them to the ‘staff parking lot’ where the field is. This will cause lots of traffic, or teachers will stay parked and there will not be enough spots for the athletes that need to park.”

“It will also make athletes late to a 2:15 practice because once they get out at 2:07 and move their car to a new lot, then go inside and change for practice, they will be late and could be penalized by a coach.”

“I think it is going to be very impractical for students because of the traffic after school caused by the CATA busses which is inconvenient for student athletes,” said GHS senior and Girls Soccer Captain Willow Phoenix.

Student athletes argue that it is important to park their cars in the lot in a timely manner for practices and games.

“It’s easier to transport equipment,” said Lowthers. “Or when the bus gets home late at night and it’s pitch black, you would have to walk alone all the way across the school premises to get to your car.”

Administration does not have a solution to concerns raised by student athletes. 

Pick ups and drop offs will now happen on the canal side of the school, in order to avoid traffic with the CATA busses or student parking. 

Students are also expected to enter and exit through the front doors of the school. The back gates will be opened at the end of the day, so students can exit through those gates to avoid traffic. 

At the senior assembly Gallinelli invited students to see him about parking concerns. 

“Come see me and we will talk about it. I do not want you to think we are shutting you down.”