by NATALIE PENRY and VIVIANO GONZALEZ - Students and teachers discuss the significant effect construction has had on parking at WHS.
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Aug. 2019) - Flashback to fall of 2018: the Homecoming theme was “A Night in Paris,” the fall play was “The Great Gatsby”, the football team struggled and we took our first hit in the war on parking (We’re not going to win this one). After fall break last year, the auditorium lot was obliterated in order to construct a new wing of the school. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the end. By the start of the next school year, we bid farewell to the Learning Center, the “new” auditorium lot (which is now staff parking), the old staff parking lot and a row of spots near door 13. The result? Two thousand kids driving like it’s NASCAR to make their way to school.
“I definitely see... a lot of just chaos with people trying to find spots, and it might make it dangerous for people walking into school,” Sophia Novak (12) said. “It’s just going to be kind of hectic.”
The limited parking lot entrances are also a concern among students struggling to find a spot before the tardy bell rings. Some feel like this problem will get worse before it gets better due to the ever-increasing size of incoming classes.
“Once we start getting more kids, it’s actually probably going to be worse, having everything congested into one area. It’s going to be a lot more traffic,” Novak said.
However, the parking doesn’t just involve those in current possession of a car; many future drivers are also concerned by reduced parking spots.
“I do wish to own and drive a car in the future but as of right now, the current parking condition discourages me from driving to school or having them [my friends] drive me since they actually have to deal with the parking,” Peyton Sullivan (10) said.
While students struggle for spots on the daily, faculty and administration have also had to make adjustments with the new parking lots.
“[The parking] is really packed and tight right now, but it’s understandable because of the construction,” Mr. Sam Temples said. “Eventually we will get there but right now it’s really tight for most people.”
Despite the perilous traffic jams and congestion, it cannot be denied that significant progress has been made on the overall project.
“As far as I’m concerned, the construction has been efficient for the school,” Mr. Temples said. “I don’t know if they’re at the pace they’re supposed to be, but it seems efficient.”
Construction is currently labeled as “on-task” and is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2020. But until then, buckle up, because the parking wars are far from over.