Parking Lot Paint Party


Photo provided by Camille Crawford

Camille Crawford, Staff Writer

All over the county, high schools offer parking spots to their students that own a vehicle. More than a handful of these high schools further offer their senior student body the creative freedom to paint their parking spots. Recently, our very own administration has decided to grant seniors the privilege to paint their parking spots. The date has been set for the paint party to commence in October. 

The administration originally had some push back from the board about how the activity would be executed, especially considering the unique structure of the RJR parking lot. However, our administrators received the authority to grant us permission to decorate and customize parking spaces this year. 

Among the creative privileges that painting your own parking spot provides, the activity has some underlying benefits. For the first weeks at school, students have been parking in each other’s spots causing a chain reaction of issues within the lot. Notes and texts have been surfacing around the school hoping to solve this recurring problem. 

Mrs. Latta, the Reynolds yearbook teacher, ran through most of the logistics this year surrounding the parking situations at Reynolds, specifically how students are assigned their own spot and not given the freedom to park in the closest one available. 

“I felt that students were parking in [the teacher’s] spots a lot, and I thought, you know, one way to get students to park in their own spots, even when they are coming back from the Career Center and someone else is parked in their spot, to give them a parking spot that is theirs,” Latta said. 

A majority of the student body travels to the Career Center, just to come back and find their spot occupied. With the personalized designs of the seniors parking spots this could narrow down the victims of the mixup and return them to their own spots.     Reynolds High School has been an Arts Magnet for fourteen years. Painting parking spots seems fitting given the identity of the school. This new opportunity raises the question: why haven’t we done this before? Mrs. Latta explained that she previously brought up the idea only a year before at the Teacher Advisory Committee. 

The idea was “to give them the ownership of something that is theirs, creatively,” Latta said. “But [before last year] it was never considered.”

With the extra amount of logistics and preparation, this activity will be a delayed but memorable way to start a new tradition that Reynolds. 

The August weather in North Carolina promises to be hot and humid on any day. These unreliable conditions prevented the administration from feeling comfortable with letting seniors paint their spots at the beginning of the year. 

“We couldn’t imagine sending seniors down to a parking lot when it was 100 degrees, and putting black paint down, and painting over it, it would be ungodly.”Latta said.

The administration was waiting for drier, more consistent weather that wouldn’t mess up any art that was painted. Their  decision to push back the date should provide a safer environment for students to enjoy an autumn day with their fellow students and a bucket of paint.