Student Parking Off Campus? Head of School Talks Possible Solutions to Lack of Space

A.J. Gallitz

A.J. Gallitz

Friday, March 22, 2024
Student Parking Off Campus? Head of School Talks Possible Solutions to Lack of Space

The south end of Overwood Road where many sophomores end up parking. Photo by A.J. Gallitz.

It is undeniable that the Altamont student parking lot has issues. It's a school with growing enrollment and the campus is on a mountain, which limits expansion. There are more students who want to drive themselves to school than there are spaces. There are frequent squabbles over parking, and sometimes cars become blocked in, leaving people stuck at school, trying to find the owner of the car in the way.  

In addition, because sophomores are not allowed to park on campus due to the lack of space, they have found other places to park their cars out in the community, most notably behind the school on Overwood Road in Crestwood South. The Acta Diurna reported on the situation a year ago.   

Head of School Cecil Stodghill says that now, however, there are plans in the works.  

“We're evaluating lots of different things," says Stodghill, including "... having sophomores park at [the former] Comer [School] and then shuttling them up."

Stodghill says, "We actually had that plan in place and ready to go. Here's what happened: We have a smaller junior class this year. We realized, hey: we really don't have as big a problem as we had. Let's hold off. Once we got to spring, sophomores [started] getting older and now [they're] driving. And we wanted to see, okay, before we start doing this, let's see how many sophomores we have and how bad would this be? Because ... if you park at Comer, you're stuck here for the day and you can't get off campus until we get you down there and open the gates and such. We also want to take into account how convenient it is for you [students].

"Number two, in the springtime," he says, "we have so many sports going on, our buses are all taken up with sports and such. [But] we would need to have a bus that goes and picks you all up in the morning, takes you back in the afternoon. We're still trying to work towards that ... We're hoping to get a new bus for the fall. If we can do that, we may have a better solution. That includes parking at Comer."

In the longer term, Stodghill adds, "We're developing a master site plan that creates parking for everyone on campus. Now, that's two, three, four years down the road. Not sure exactly how long, because obviously, it involves lots of money. But the long-term solution is that we are going to build more parking on campus.” 

Big picture, he says, “It's important that we are good neighbors and good stewards of our community ... I get concerns from our neighbors. Their big concerns are carpool line and the sophomores who park on Overwood. And I want to be clear. Those folks have been wonderful. They're not as concerned about the number of cars back there. They're more concerned with safety. They want to make sure that our sophomores are parking safely and that the people who live in that neighborhood continue to have a safe way to come and go, especially around the curve .... it's very important that we continue to be good neighbors and let them know that we're going to alleviate this issue as soon as we possibly can.” 


A typical day in the student lot. Photos by A.J. Gallitz.

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