Student parking lot undergoes changed design


For multiple years now, the Hays High School student parking lot has been slowly re-surfaced section by section. Now, the project has come to fruition, with new features of the parking lot including angled parking and a change in the flow of traffic.

The angled parking design was thoroughly investigated by administration and other officials. They frequently saw large rectangular parking lots that had been turned into columns.

“The benefits of the new parking lot start with the angle at which students park,” principal Shawn Henderson said. “Instead of a 90-degree turn, we now have angled parking stalls. This has been helpful in mitigating car vs. parked car incidents, which were our most common accident at HHS last year.”

With the angled parking came a different flow of traffic. Now there is only one-way traffic around the perimeter of the parking lot, easing congestion. Students no longer can cut across multiple lanes of traffic to get to their car, making the parking lot safer for students.

Redoing a parking lot is more expensive than people realize. That is why the project was broken into six phases. The USD 489 Board of Education approved each new section of pavement based on yearly funds. Each section of pavement cost approximately $100,000, for a total of $700,000.

“The people that painted the stalls were incredibly efficient and brought their painting vehicles, lasers and lots of measurements to make the lot look amazing,” Henderson said. “We feel they did a great job and that the lot painting will last for years to come. Also, our Student Council will be painting numbers on every spot, in addition to naming the columns.”

Another new idea currently in the works is a Hays High School parking sticker. Each student would receive a numbered sticker for his or her windshield. The number on the sticker would be associated with the student’s name, so that administration could efficiently identify the owner of the vehicle.

For example, if a student leaves his headlights on, an administrator can promptly identify who needs to be called to the office to correct the problem.

While students may have parking stickers, they will not have assigned parking spaces based on their numbers.

“The entire point of this project is to ensure student safety and to increase efficiency,” Henderson said.

Students have expressed mixed opinions about the new design and the new ideas. While some miss being able to pull through as they could with the rectangular lot, most people prefer the angled parking.

“I think it’s quicker to leave the parking lot with the new design,” sophomore Dezarae Schmidt said. “But everyone’s backing up at the same time, so I don’t like that.”