Pricey Parking

Parking pass fees rise this year, but remain lower than other Metro League schools


PHOTO Monica Bradburn

Patiently waiting. Seniors line up early in the morning to receive their schedules and purchase their assigned parking spot. Fenton High rose the price $5 for the 2013-2014 school year to repaint numbers in the student lot.

The doors opened at 9 a.m. to allow the stream of seniors inside.  Senior Olivia Elzay had been waiting at the school since 11:45 p.m. the night before to sign up for her parking spot.  Others rushed to get in line.  Once in the lobby, the seniors picked up their schedules, chose a parking spot and paid their fee of $15.

“At one point, parking passes were $5,” Principal Mark Suchowski said.  “Last year, they were $10.”

While parking fees have been on an upward trend, they do cost less than a few nearby schools.

“We charge our students $20 to park for the year,” Holly Principal Peter LoFiego said. “The cost was implemented to cover the installation of remote cameras that we installed in our parking lots on our light poles and the edges of the various buildings.  This has significantly reduced vandalism and theft from our lot.”

Fenton’s parking pass fee was put in place when the tennis courts and parking lots were rebuilt.

“The money now goes to maintenance on the parking lot,” Suchowski said.  “The numbers for each spot were repainted early this school year.”

When students were first assigned their spots this year, though, the numbers were hardly legible.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find my spot because the numbers were faded,” Elzay said.  “Before school started, my friends and I decorated our spots with chalk.”

Lake Fenton assigns spots as well, but they do not use a first-come first-served system when registering.

“During registration, students who pay for their spots are given a blind draw for their spots,” Lake Fenton Principal Todd Reynolds said.  “Seniors draw first, juniors second and any sophomores who can drive, third.”

However, neither Holly nor Powers Catholic assign spots at all, and Powers students place a deposit on parking passes instead of purchasing them.

  “Our students do not have assigned spaces,” Powers Catholic Principal Tom Furnas said.  “They do need a pass for which they pay $5. They get their deposit back at the end of the year when they turn in the pass.”

Despite having to stand in a long line for an assigned parking space, some students found waiting with good company worthwhile.

“I enjoyed camping out for my parking spot,” Elzay said. “It was a great way to kick off senior year surrounded by friends.”