As the driving population of Timber Creek grows, security and administration are working to ease parking woes.
Assistant Principal Becky Rose has heard student complaints of not being able to find a parking spot, being issued warnings for parking in the wrong location, and general uncertainty over how administration plans to deal with the increase in students.
Some relief is already becoming available, as the band parking lot is now open for student use, following the end of marching season.
“Now that football season is over, I encourage [students] to park in the Band lot,” Rose said. “With the band lot, by itself, that is 176 parking spots additional spots that have not been able to be used.” Adding those newly opened spots, students have 1,049 locations to park in — with some reservations.
Senior spots were assigned and purchased late last school year and are reserved for that individual only, even if they aren’t in attendance on that day or arrive late. Additionally, there are reserved parking locations for teachers or other staff marked as “reserved” around the building that are not open for students to use.
Then there’s the teacher lot. There are over 230 teachers and staff at Timber Creek and not enough parking.
“We have less parking for teachers, we’re more critical than the kids are, we have only 194 spots,” Rose explained. “The teacher lot is not an overflow lot, that’s for teachers only.” Even if there were open spots, Rose explained, students shouldn’t park there.
So where should they park? The two most referenced overflow parking locations are some distance away. Additional student parking is available at the Field House and near the tennis courts and softball and baseball fields. No matter where students park, they need a permit.
“You need to have a parking permit to park on campus,” Rose said. If students are found parking where they’re not supposed to be, parking without a permit, or breaking other parking guidelines, there are consequences.
First, vehicles would be issued an orange warning sticker, stating what the violation is for. That is the official warning for students and following a sticker being placed, another violation would lead to the vehicle being booted, requiring a payment of $25 to remove. To get a boot removed, students will need to go to the front (north) office and pay their fee with Dana Strommen. Payments may be made online via the school store, or pay in person by bringing cash or check.
As the population increases, admin is also looking at ways to increase the total number of parking spots, but that would be a costly process. After speaking with the district maintenance department and others involved in construction, the costs are over $500,000 in the cheapest option.
“If we did not do concrete, if we did asphalt, it would be half a million dollars,” Rose said. “Ideally, we want it to last for years, we want it to be quality, we’re talking millions,” to increase the total number of spaces. The first option for where parking could be increased is between High School Road and the fences on the Southeast portion of the campus. However, that area was recently adjusted for flood control and drainage.
In any case, the growth of the driving population will lead to some adjustments for students parking on campus.
“This has been our norm and we’ve outgrown our norm, so this may be a new normal and I know that’s a little uncomfortable but that’s what it is,” Rose said.
Find additional reminders about parking at this link: Everything You Need to Know About Parking at Timber Creek