By Great Neck North High School Shared Decision Making Committee
As members of the North High School Shared Decision Making Committee, we would like to provide insight into the significant planning behind the parking lot project at North High, and the strong need for this lot to ensure the safety of our students.
The parking lot project was a result of careful and critical examination on behalf of building administration and our Shared Decision Making Committee (SDMC). During more than a dozen SDMC meetings over the course of two school years, we carefully and thoughtfully generated a list of bond project priorities for our building. It was a vetted process supported by all stakeholders, and had the full support of North High’s Building Facility Committee, Shared Decision Making Committee and PTO on its way to District Office, the Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the Board of Education.
In priority order in our final submitted request, the parking lot project was item C on a list that ran from A to G. It’s important to note that this lot was not requested by students; this project was identified as a need by building administration to provide a safer environment for our students.
North High School does not have the luxury of a fenced-in sprawling campus like our sister school. Currently, students park directly beside the school, in smaller lots very close by, along Beach Road and anywhere else they can park—legal or not.
Students consistently attempt to use their vehicles during the school day, which is prohibited. We are mildly successful in our effort to catch everyone, but many park far down on Beach Road to avoid detection and the result is having students out on the roads.
A flaw in encouraging student parking at Parkwood, besides the more than one-quarter of a mile walk to school, is that it would be too easy for students to leave and appear to walk into town for lunch when, in fact, they can walk to their car and leave without anyone possibly knowing. It’s just not viable.
There is an overwhelming need to provide a parking area where students can secure their vehicles and only access them when they are to be accessed, which is vital considering the number of seniors who leave at various hours of the school day for their internships.
Furthermore, a parking lot would mean the end of students parking all along Beach Road. It would mean having adequate visitor and handicapped parking as a result of no student cars in the parking lot alongside the bus platform. This will not result in more cars on the road; it will allow the same cars to park in a modern, orderly, supervised space. The organization and order a lot would provide will also eliminate the fender benders that occur from time to time, as well as the potential for such accidents.
We hope this letter clarifies how we arrived at the decision to make the parking lot a priority for North High School, and that the subsequent justification eliminates any misinformation or ambiguity. This isn’t about indulging our young people, it is about protecting them.