BHS Construction: A Scam to make more money?
Fall of 2019 marks the beginning of construction on the 100 building and the end of sufficient, student designated parking. Towards the end of the 2018-2019 school term, the Bainbridge Island School District made an announcement: the oldest and only building on Bainbridge High School that hadn’t been renovated in years, the 100 building, would be rebuilt fall of 2019. At first, BHS students were excited. The plans for the new 100 building included a more modern layout curated toward student safety and a more inclusive environment. A layout that incorporated BHS’s first gender-neutral bathrooms that were available for student-use and urinal free would accommodate the entire student body and facilitate a more inclusive environment. In addition, the new design would bring the building up to code on new measures being taken in schools worldwide. Students would have a campus where every building was equipped with the latest technology to enable staff and students alike to feel safe at school, even in the case of extreme circumstances. Based off this, students were under the impression that these renovations were proof that BHS supported it’s student body.
However, according to The Bainbridge Review the 100 building construction is scheduled to begin January of 2019 and projected to finish May of 2020. For the duration of that time, the largest student-designated parking lot on campus will be out of use. This brings its own new challenges for BHS students. Parking passes at BHS are $250 per pass, which is already a higher value than other highschools nearby. Typically BHS student parking lots provide roughly 200 parking spots for the licensed student body, granted they can afford the price. While some students choose to drive to school because they want to, there are many students expected by teachers to be on time to zero period, a class that school bus schedules don’t accommodate. The 100 building construction leaves roughly 100 parking passes available, which brings into question the school’s integrity. When students without parking pass’s park on school property, they are issued warnings and then $25 tickets for each subsequent “offense.” The money from the school-issued tickets goes directly into the school budget, which means it is in the school’s best interest to continue limiting student parking. While there is additional parking near campus, it is only available to students after 10 am. As a consequence those who park there before then will inevitably receive a ticket. According to BHS students who wish to remain anonymous, “parking creates an undue amount of stress in the mornings and proves financially draining when tickets are issued.” This brings to light new questions. Should BHS reduce the cost of parking passes? Can BHS afford to stop ticketing students for the duration of the 100 building construction? Or are they funding the construction with the money from the increasing amount of students receiving parking tickets?