Seniors pay up to $400 for reserved parking spots

Parking spots come at a higher premium for most seniors with the auction system. [Natalie Metzger]

parking spots 2 color

With senior year come many activities and experiences, from class shirts, college decisions and reserved parking spots.  On Thursday, August 24, the Leadership class held an auction to reserve thirty parking spots in the front, side and back lots.  These spots were in high demand, with prices reaching upwards of $400, resulting in a total profit of $6780 for the Senior Prom this May.

Unlike previous years, the auction was held live during one lunch period rather than silent throughout multiple days.  Leadership teacher Michelle LeMieux and art teacher Elenai Katsaros acted as auctioneers as over sixty seniors bid against each other until a final highest amount was accepted.  The main reason for the change in process was to increase efficiency.

“The silent auction last year dragged on and the students were stressed and negative,” LeMieux said. “It was discussed and a live auction seemed more fun and would produce quick results, which we felt the students would appreciate.”

Senior Jenny Chin attended the auction in the library, intending to reserve the closest parking spot to classes in the lot in front by the football field.  She was not aware that prices would rise as high as they did, and hoped to spend a maximum of $100.  Once the auction began, bids surged and her final offer was $380.  Purchasing a parking spot was a priority for Chin, who said she often runs late to class.  She understood that the revenue from the auction went directly toward the Prom in May and looks forward to personalizing her section with a painted mural.

“It is a school donation, so I don’t feel as bad about spending that much,” Chin said.

There was some disappointment regarding the limited availability of reservations.  Another auction attendee, senior Alyssa Maniscalco, looked forward to purchasing and painting a parking spot in the front lot, but was unable to.  She planned to spend at most $50 which she earned through a part-time job, but was also surprised to see that starting bids were at that price and many classmates had the means to spend much more.  While some students’ parents provide them with vehicles, Maniscalco pays monthly for her financed car.  

“I felt as if I couldn’t participate because I didn’t have that kind of money to spend on a parking spot, which was something I always viewed to be an all-inclusive event for seniors,” Maniscalco said.

LeMieux offered options to include students who are unable to participate in certain events based on their cost including the Senior Fashion Show, the Powder-puff football game, Mr. Mustang and the Homecoming Parade floats.  These events contribute to the Senior Prom expenses, but do not have required costs for senior participants.

“Seniors are highly-encouraged to participate in the fashion show, and only a donation is requested.  We never turn away students from being in school events for costs,” LeMieux said.

Meanwhile, students who were unable to purchase parking can arrive earlier to school and park in non-reserved spots on campus in the three lots. In the future, the leadership class will discuss different ways to hold the auction as demand for a guaranteed parking spot continues to grow.