Parking Space Sales to Fund Student Events


Photo By Nick Alvarez

Senior Ellie Carey adds detail to her flower themed parking spot as her classmates work on theirs. Parking lot painting day was Sept. 24. In total, 86 spots were purchased.

Nick Alvarez, Editor-in-Chief

One of the many perks of becoming a senior at Rio includes the ability to purchase a parking spot, but this year is a little different.

Seniors were able to get a spot for a flat rate of $100. If they were feeling a little more adventurous, they could purchase a premium spot for $200 which entered them into a raffle. When their name came up, any spot in the parking lot could be claimed as their own.

Parking prices for the school year came from student body input. When asked how much they would be willing to pay, most answers ranged from $100 to $200.

This is opposed to previous years when an auction was held for the spots and prices frequently exceeded $500 for just one. Not many parking spots were sold that way.

Proceeds from the spots go directly towards senior grad night, and the new, lower prices aimed to make spots more accessible to all, while also raising funds. “In my opinion it’s one of the best fund raisers they’ve done,” said senior Connor Kinder-Ebersberger.

In total, 86 parking spots were sold, raising almost $13,000 for the senior class. “We made way more money this way than auctioning them off,” said PTSA parent Gayla Rios.

Senior picnic is another big fund raiser for grad night. The $20 admission cost and the raffle contributed to the fund as well.

“We changed the format of how to fundraise at the senior picnic and it was really successful,” said Rios.
The fundraising events were prosperous, which helps cover grad night’s mounting costs.

Senior graduation is on Friday, June 1, 2018, and that means Strikes Bowling Alley will be more expensive to rent out. However, Rios remains optimistic.

She is hoping to reduce ticket prices of grad night from the $75 it was last year. The goal is to increase value while decreasing admission fees. The eventual cost could reach $30,000.

She is hoping for an attendance of around 250, up from 193 last year. “We feel like it will be a very well attended event,” Rios said.

Seniors enjoy the benefits of having their own spot. “When I didn’t have a parking spot, I’d have to wake up really early and leave really early just to get a spot,” said senior Bela Armstrong. “As a senior it’s kind of nice to have everyone be near each other and to be near your friends.”

Additionally, seniors enjoyed a new privilege in owning a piece of the parking lot. This year, students were allowed to personalize their spot by painting it.

This was made possible not only from the PTSA, but from donations from Emigh Hardware, Sherwin Williams, Kelly-Moore Paints, and Home Depot.

After getting their designs approved, a 10×5 foot space was allotted on each spot, and seniors spent all day painting their parking places on Sept. 24.

“I thought it was really fun that I got to paint my own parking spot, and it also benefits the school,” said Kinder-Ebersburger. “That’s always a plus.”

Despite the senior privilege of purchasing spots, opposition still rises. Some say it is unfair to purchase a spot as the parking lot is public property at a public school.

The question of affordability also comes up, and some students note that they are at a disadvantage in parking choices.

The reserved parking spaces, however, occupy less than 20% of Rio’s nearly 500 space parking lot. “There is far more available parking than unavailable parking,” Rios said.

“People should be allowed to get closer parking spots if they can want to pay the money,” said senior Joel Spaid-Chase.

At the end of the day, the parking spots support the senior class and will be here to stay.