Juniors risk safety parking at Wakeman

On an early November morning before 7:00 a.m., licensed juniors battle to beat the long line for a parking spot at Wakeman to avoid a half a mile walk in 33 degree weather.

“I get there at 7:03, and the line is at the baseball fields,” Colby Kranz ’15 said. “I think it is pointless how half of the Bedford lot is empty and we can’t use it. It’s literally a mile walk with our 300 pound backpacks. It’s not right.”

According to Richard Franzis, the Assistant Principal who managed junior parking last year, there are about 40 parking spaces for juniors. Principal John Dodig announced that parking at Bedford is prohibited, and any students found parked there will be towed and ticketed.

The administration decided that it was unsafe for students to park at Bedford since it uses its parking lot for evacuations.

Franzis also clarified that there are no special parking privileges given to the Gridiron Club, a booster club that helps support the Staples football program, and dismissed the rumor that cheerleaders are allowed parking privileges on football game days.

“We do not prioritize who we give parking stickers to as a junior. Whether they’re on the baseball team, have heavy sports equipment or have four jobs,” Franzis said, “there are no special parking privileges.  It’s an urban legend.”

As for senior parking, every senior who has his/her license is assured a parking spot. Once seniors have gotten their parking stickers, parking is open for juniors. Parking spaces are kept aside for guidance/parent coffee meetings and college meetings.

Although the junior parking lottery was held last year around Halloween, juniors still wait for the parking lottery to be held while risking the potential of dangerous driving situations.

“We are all new drivers, there are people walking along the side of the road to their cars so the drivers have to weave in and out of the walkers,” Sydney Robison ’15 said. “Some students are reckless drivers who let their friends hang on the outside of their cars while speeding down the road.”

“You do have to be careful because some kids are reckless and drive way too fast,” Alyssa Gehb ’15 agreed.

Administrators have also taken notice of the safety risks of parking at Wakeman. “We tell students, ‘Park at Wakeman at your own risk,’” Franzis said. “Is there a safety risk parking off campus? Absolutely. It’s a quarter of a mile; it’s a long walk.”

In addition, Kroll Inc. spent a few days assessing the safety risks at Wakeman as part of a larger evaluation of Staples’s security.

The deadline to sign up for the junior parking lottery is 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The list of juniors who win will be posted on the Assistant Principal’s office door Thursday morning.