Crowded parking lot frustrates students

As the year progresses and senioritis starts to infect students at HHS, it is becoming a common occurrence for seniors to park where they shouldn’t be, causing an ongoing battle in the parking lots.

Many seniors expressed frustration with the lack of parking spots. This has become an ongoing issue throughout the year, and only got worse as winter rolled around. With an abundance of snow and no place for crews to put it, parking spots are lost as a result.

“Coming in second period after having a first period study and not being able to find a spot in senior (lot) when that is my assigned lot is extremely frustrating,” senior class president Emily Mastroianni said.

Senior Kyle Schlicke had similar concerns.

“On days after we have received a snowstorm, water towers loses about 15 spots to the snow, forcing me to look elsewhere to park my car, such as in front of the snowbanks, which only makes the lot tighter,” he said.

The issue continues to get worse as the year goes on and juniors and some sophomores begin to receive their licenses. These grades are often assigned the water tower lot, which creates a lack of parking, forcing seniors to have to park in spaces areas such as no parking zones or in front of the snow piles.  Although many seniors park in H lot by choice, juniors without an assigned lot jam pack areas that are already full.

Another issue students face is the fact that so many lots are far away from the school, and in bad weather create a walk so long that students are often late.

“I am assigned H (lot), and when I am running late to school in the morning, since the walk is so long, I have to park in senior (lot) so that I am on time,” senior Tobias White said.

The man in charge of parking policy, school resource officer Philip Powers, responded to students concerns by saying, “It doesn’t just end at writing the ticket. I then have to look up the plate and go into iPass to see who owns the vehicle, and after that I have talk to the student and decide on consequence. This whole process is very time-consuming and takes me away from other tasks I can be doing to help promote and ensure public safety.”

Typically, if students are not going to park in their own lot, they will park in senior lot or visitor lot.

Senior Abby Druffner has seen this first-hand and said, “Parking in tennis lot, I never have had a problem with my spot being taken because I feel that if people are not going to park in their own lot, they typically would choose a closer space than tennis (lot).”

According to the administration, next year’s freshmen class is going to be the biggest ever, so a solution is needed.

Assistant Principal Josh Hanna responded to concerns.

“Parking being a problem is not unique to Hopkinton High School, and looking into the future, we will have to be flexible as we accommodate more students and realize our policies may differ from the norm,” he said.

Hanna also responded to the question of turning the field behind the cafeteria into a parking lot.

“I feel like grass and a place for students being able to get the most out of their time here at Hopkinton High School is much more important than a few more spots. Additionally, lots of the space on loop road is protected by EPA laws, so we are unable to just blast down trees and throw in a parking lot and call it a day,” Hanna said.