New policy creates lack of space in parking lot for students, band

Melina Pasillas, Reporter

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At the start of the 2017-18 school year, Bastrop High School began enforcing student parking stickers at $10 for the first two weeks of school, and then increased to $20 for the remainder of the school year. The coveted parking space in the parking lot is also where the band practices during marching season, August through October. With the new parking policy and limited space, students have noticed overcrowding, which has led to an increase in conflicts over parking spaces between students.

One major concern voiced by student drivers is the cost of the student parking stickers. Senior Trey Townsend, does not agree with the increased sticker price.

“They are way too overpriced. If they were like $5, that would be different.” Townsend said.

Without taking into account the beginning of the year $10 discount,  Bastrop is the most expensive when compared to Elgin’s $15, Smithville’s $15 and Cedar Creek’s $10 price tags.With a low supply and high demand, an increased sticker price seems like a classic case of Economics 101, but it does not explain why the lot is more full than the past.  

“I did not pay 20 bucks to go to a parking lot that’s packed.” said senior Jesse Lira.

One reason parking is limited is due to the band and colorguard’s usage of half the student parking lot in the morning for practice. Many students feel the band should use the football field to practice since they perform on a football field.

Junior Maggie Nelson commented, “If band doesn’t wanna move, students should be allowed to park at the PAC or in the Ag parking.”

Last year, students were permitted to park at the PAC. However, this year’s policy has changed. Since the PAC is district wide and not directly affiliated with BHS, district leaders decided they would no longer allow student parking at the facility.

While the band and colorguard members can understand frustrations, they do not see things as simple as moving to the field.

“We can’t practice on a wet and destroyed field,” junior Ariana Villarreal defends “Besides, there are football and soccer players practicing there in the morning.”

Mr. Gilbreath, the band director, said that the parking lot is the best place to practice because it’s the flattest surface and it’s in the best shape. “Erhard is not in the best shape and football uses the practice field. If we were to both use it, it would wear down too much.” Gilbreath also mentioned how the band would be at the weather’s mercy if they used the field. “Every time it rained we would have to cancel or go somewhere else.” If the November 7 bond passes and the field is turfed, Gilbreath said they would “most definitely” use the field instead of the parking lot.

While many students are frustrated and would like to see the issues of space and cost resolved as soon as possible, the district is attempting to provide possible solutions by resurfacing Erhard Field and allowing better use of practice facilities.

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Melina Pasillas, Reporter

Junior Melina Pasillas is a reporter on the Bear Facts newspaper staff.

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New policy creates lack of space in parking lot for students, band