Important information about parking changes

I hope this letter finds you happy and well, and not-quite-but-almost ready to think about school in a few weeks.  I am sending a welcome back to school letter under separate cover. The purpose of this email is to announce several changes in our parking structure for the fall.

First, the student parking lot will be unavailable due to construction until November at the earliest.  The City of Newton is installing several solar panel structures in the middle of the parking lots.  When complete, these will offset energy use for NSHS, provide better lighting of the parking lots in the evening, and provide some protection from the weather.  For September – October, however, they will remove our on-site parking availability for students.

To start the school year, we will not be issuing student parking passes.  The City of Newton will be adding additional temporary parking on Brandeis Road, and these spots will be available to students (and the public) on a first-come-first-served basis.  The school does not have jurisdiction over parking on Brandeis Road, and we will not be issuing parking passes for these spots.  Once the construction is complete (planned for early November), we will offer pro-rated student parking passes for the student parking lot.

Second, the access road behind Newton South will be limited to emergency vehicles only.  The only parking behind the school will be for staff (only) in the small Cutler lot behind the field house.  Over the past several years parking and traffic behind the school has increased, resulting in several accidents and many near-misses.  In consultation with safety officials, I discovered that the road behind the school was never intended to be used as a pass-through.  Instead, it had previously been chained off, with access for emergency vehicles only.  We will be returning this road to the use as originally designed.  The road will be two-way (with no parking) between Brandies Road and the Cutler parking lot, and then blocked to vehicle traffic between Cutler and Goldrick (along the softball and baseball field).  I realize that this will be extremely inconvenient to staff and students who have become accustomed to parking behind the school, and yet I could not justify continuing to use the road in a manner for which it was not designed and which was contributing to safety concerns.

We will have further updates about the progress of the parking lot construction as the fall progresses, and information about purchasing parking passes will be forthcoming as the construction project reaches conclusion.