High School parking lots. That phrase alone should be enough to invoke a feeling of dread in anyone that’s been there and done that. We all have memories of the 17 year old versions of ourselves and our friends, what we were doing, and the mindset we had back in the ‘good old days.’ The linebacker with the buzz cut driving his ’74 Silverado, lifted a good four feet into the air, and on ridiculous monster truck tires, Cheerleaders in red convertibles, and you in your half broken-down Geo Metro with dented fenders. Yes. It’s truly a terrifying place to be as your adult self, with your adult car, in this wonderland of potential fender-benders. What I’ve been proposing to booster clubs, school administrators, and parents on the school board makes this a much friendlier place.
Every school has pride in their mascot and athletic events. Every student takes pride in their newly acquired ride. The boosted club and school administrators are also a huge fan of not getting their ‘rides’ dented and scratched, and like the idea of bringing revenue into the school also! What we’ve been doing, is as parking lots age, and need refurbishing, we have them re-done with school colors in the paint. Mascots painted into the entry way, and an all-around awesome, school spirit invoking spectacle! What we then do, is cordon off certain areas of the lot, and designate certain areas for different purposes. Student parking in the back, where they have their own designated exit, and won’t be speeding by the principal’s car. Faculty parking off to the site, next to a convenient entryway into the school. Event parking and general parking also have their own unique, and clearly marked areas.
The next thing we do, it print off hang tags and parking permits for the different types of spaces. We have them clearly marked with different, easily to see colors, and on high quality materials. The parking passes are then affixed to bumpers, or the parking hang tags hung on the rear view mirrors. At this point, districts would decide if they want to hand these out to the student and faculty bodies respectively, or if they want to sell them. Another thing that can be done is giving them out as incentives for scholars, athletes and top performing faculty.
This has proven to be both a fun, and interesting way to promote school pride, boost revenue in some cases, and protect the structural integrity of the innocent vehicles that must travel into and through these hazardous zones!