Students learn the driving force behind senior lot changes

The+new+staff+parking+provides+direct+access+to+Happy+Campers+Daycare+Center%2C+according+to+Grant+Steunenberg%2C+Carlmonts+administrative+vice+principal.+%E2%80%9CIn+the+technology+and+security+building%2C+there+is+also+a+third+office+which+is+a+lactation+room+for+mothers+who+need+to+breastfeed+or+pump+milk+during+the+day%2C%E2%80%9D+Steunenberg+said.+

Robin Linares

The new staff parking provides direct access to Happy Campers Daycare Center, according to Grant Steunenberg, Carlmont’s administrative vice principal. “In the technology and security building, there is also a third office which is a lactation room for mothers who need to breastfeed or pump milk during the day,” Steunenberg said.

The senior parking lot saw the addition of 10 staff parking spots. While this new development provides relief for staff, it was a shock for students.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, when students drove into the senior lot, they noticed some spots in which they parked the week prior now had the label “staff.”

This change initially incited anger and confusion in students, according to Katie Barton, a Carlmont senior.

“It was kind of a shock at first to have those spots taken away. I feel like a lot of people were kind of upset at first because they thought that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to park,” Barton said.

Along with students’ initial frustrations, there was confusion as to why new staff spots were necessary since there were already some staff spots in the senior lot.

“I was disappointed and feeling kind of confused as to why they didn’t tell us that they were doing this, especially because the senior lot is already composed of many staff spots,” said Juliette Mansfield, a senior at Carlmont.

Grant Steunenberg, the Carlmont administrative vice principal, responded to some of the initial concerns brought up by students, beginning with problems regarding the possibility of a lack of student parking.

“We worked with our treasurer, who controls the selling of the parking permits, and explained that we needed to increase the number of staff spots by ten. Then he adjusted the number of parking permits he sold to take ten out so that we wouldn’t have an overlap of having more parking permits than there are parking spots available,” Steunenberg said.

Steunenberg also clarified why the change happened mid-year, which was ultimately due to district delays.

“We made a request for this work to be done over the summer, and the work wasn’t accomplished by the district painters until now,” Steunenberg said.

Steunenberg noted some of the positives of the additional staff spots in the senior parking lot, especially for teachers with young children at Carlmont’s daycare center, Happy Campers.

“It’s been beneficial for staff to have access to the childcare center as it was intended when we made the agreement with Happy Campers to put a childcare facility on school grounds,” Steunenberg said. “We have teachers whose children are in the childcare center, and so in the morning, it is easiest for them to park in the senior lot and drop their child off and then go straight up to their classroom from there.”

Honestly, I’m okay with them turning it into staff parking if it makes sure the staff can actually park. It was just the initial shock of having it taken away with no communication.”

— Natalie Tobias

Steunenberg also noted the benefits for people involved in security and technology on campus since now they are sure to have access to parking.

“It’s benefited all the other people who already parked down there before, as it was frustrating to them because they had been parking down there for years, then suddenly, they start showing up to work, and they don’t have parking spaces anymore,” Steunenberg said.

Once students heard the reasoning behind these changes, much of their initial anger was resolved. However, some felt it raised a more extensive issue regarding the lack of communication with students.

“I was talking to some teachers about it because I wanted to understand why they were doing it, and they said that there wasn’t a lot of parking and they couldn’t find spots,” said senior Natalie Tobias. “Honestly, I’m okay with them turning it into staff parking if it makes sure the staff can actually park. It was just the initial shock of having it taken away with no communication.”

Mansfield reiterated the point regarding the lack of communication between staff and students and provided some solutions to improve this issue.

“If something like that happens where they’re changing stuff in the school, I think it’d be great to be informed in the emails that the principal sends out,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield noted that students simply want to stay informed about the school.

“Not only would it be good to inform us that things are going on, but I also think people would want to know what’s going on and to have information about a school they’re attending,” Mansfield said.