Repavement of senior lot stirs controversy

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Repavement of senior lot stirs controversy

Senior parking lot being repaved on Nov. 16, 2018.

Senior parking lot being repaved on Nov. 16, 2018.

Maggie Markon

Senior parking lot being repaved on Nov. 16, 2018.

Maggie Markon

Maggie Markon

Senior parking lot being repaved on Nov. 16, 2018.

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To commemorate the start of their final year of high school, rising seniors have created a yearly tradition of painting the rock in the front of the school after the graduation of the previous class to symbolize their newfound seniority. Students take to the rock with spray paint and make an event out of the activity. Last June, the rock was spray painted as it has been for years, but the senior parking lot and surrounding sidewalks were also painted and covered with inappropriate images and symbols, which impacted students’ ability to paint their spots the following school year.

“This past year when [paint the rock] happened, in addition to some of the people doing their very talented artwork, there were individuals who took that opportunity to also paint profanities and artwork of anatomy that shouldn’t be on a school parking lot,” Associate Principal Alfonso Smith said. “We’ve had [incidents] like this happen before, but never to the degree that it happened. It’s almost like this class took it to another level.”

Despite the fact that the current seniors are facing the punishment for the graphic images, several students claim that the class of 2018 were those responsible.

“Having close friends in [the class of] 2018, they admitted to me that they painted the lot after we left,” senior Grace DiNicolantonio said.

The school attempted to paint over the drawings, but the efforts were futile due to the excessive number that were scattered throughout the lot and surrounding sidewalks.

“There are still signs painted, and there are still some of our sidewalks that are painted, so it wasn’t a difficult decision [to repave the lot],” Smith said. “We needed to do something and looked into painting over the things we didn’t want, but there were so many and our lot hadn’t been paved in so long that we’d come out better just having the lot repaved.”

Seniors, however, were not pleased that their painted spots were paved over without any notice from the school. Since the spray paint has been an issue since last June, many seniors assumed that the problem would have been taken care of before the start of school so they could personalize their spots without the threat of them being paved over.

“My friends and I heard that [administration] were thinking about [getting the lot repaved] before school started,” senior Jacqui DeBruler said. “That’s why we waited a little bit to see if they would repaint it because then we wouldn’t have painted our spots. I wish that we still had our spots painted the way we wanted them, but there was a lot of unnecessary spray painting in the lot from paint the rock, so I think it looks much cleaner.”

While the lot looks arguably nicer, students who put effort into painting their spots are disappointed that their work was covered and that they are not permitted to repaint the spots they paid for.

“I’m filled with anger, and at the same time I’m completely stunned because I spent about two to three weekends on hot days painting my spot,” senior Logan McLaren said. “[My spot] was something I was proud of and something I could look at as I pull up, but now it’s gone.”

Senior Logan McLaren’s parking spot before the lot was paved. Photo courtesy of Logan McLaren.

Administration is rightfully wary to return the privilege of painting the lot because of the inconveniences this year has caused. Whether or not future senior will be able to decorate their spots is not a definite decision, but the 2019 seniors are not likely to have their painting rights returned any time soon.

“In the grand scheme of things that we make sure the seniors are getting, not being able to paint the parking lot might be one that we have to rest on for a little bit,” Smith said. “I can’t say [painting the lot again] is a firm no, but if you were to ask me right now knowing that we just spent $50,000 to repave our parking lot, I wouldn’t be torn to change it.”