Seniors at Batavia High School this year will not only be afforded the privilege of reserved parking spaces in the student lot, they will be able to paint their designated spot with just about any design they like.
Overall, board members for the City School District loved the idea, presented by the executive council of the Class of 2018, but requested some modifications from the original idea before approving it.
"With a personalized parking spot, the students are able to reserve their spots and then express their individuality, which is really meaningful as maturing young adults," said student Mikey Lullo.
The students said there would be three options for students. The first costs the student nothing -- they get an assigned spot that will remain black asphalt throughout the year. The second option allows them to reserve a spot for $10, but they can't personalize it. The sweet spot, painted and personalized, would be $15.
The project is a fundraiser for the Class of 2018.
The original proposal would make all options available to all students who drive to school and students paying $15 would be able to select three possible spots, which would then be assigned randomly from those choices.
Because it's the first year, the board thought painted spots should be reserved for seniors and all spots should be selected at random.
"I love this kind of stuff," Board Member Peter Cecere said. "I think the finished product looks amazing."
Then he raised concerns about how slots would be selected.
"While I'd like to give everybody at least one of their top three choices, that's just not going to work," Cecere said. "Inevitably you're going to have a kid complaining because 'hey this kid's got this and I paid the same amount of money.' "
Trustee Shawna Murphy wondered if the privilege might be tied to academic performance or attendance, but the feeling was that would add another level of complication. She also expressed concern that in this climate, the painted slots would look dingy over the course of the year.
The students said they researched schools in similar climates and found with the right paint, it hasn't been a problem. They also said the paint acts as a sealant, which helps protect the surface of the parking lot.
At the end of the year, the students would be responsible for painting over, with black paint, the customized student spots.
While students who wish to personalize parking spots must get a sketch approved by school administrators, the council said they will also help watch over the parking lot.
Cecere expressed concern about vandalism and bullying associated with customized slots. The students hope security cameras and their vigilance will help tap down these issues.
"We're going to be there and we take it upon ourselves to monitor everything, us being the executive council," said Lauren Leone. "We are there to check everyone's paint and make sure it's being respectful."
Murphy asked how the council knew this was something they knew their fellow students wanted.
Lullo said the idea has been a big hit on social media.
"This has gone around multiple times and there has been positive feedback from pretty much the majority of the school who is on social media saying 'oh we wish we have this' and 'this would be so cool,' " Lullo said. "They said, 'this is so great, we want this.' So we kind of took it and ran with it."
Top Photo: Lauren Leone. Bottom photo: Kiara Cherry, Amand Patel and Mikey Lullo.
Video about a similar program at a high school in Lebanon, Ind.