More funds needed for school parking lot project to move forward

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, May 8, 2014

5-9 parking lot_web

The parking lot in front of Chilton County High School is a deteriorating combination of worn pavement, asphalt patches and faded paint stripes.

A project to repave Chilton County High School’s front parking lot could use some momentum from the cars that roll across the lot’s rough surface each day.

Although the community has responded to project leaders’ fundraising efforts with contributions totaling about $5,000, more funds are still needed to cover resurfacing, which could exceed $70,000.

“It’s proving a challenge in itself to raise this money,” CCHS junior Blake Hudson said. “Either we’re going to get it done, or not get it done at all.”

Hudson, CCHS senior Mason Easterling and others spearheading the project have worked since August 2013 to raise money, research bids and spread awareness of the worsening condition of the lot, which is used constantly for parking related and not related to the school.

On April 28, the Clanton City Council voted unanimously to give $40,000 to the project if the Chilton County Board of Education also contributes funds.

“We’re super grateful for the $40,000 that the city is donating,” Hudson said. “I think getting that has opened people’s eyes.”

Superintendent Dave Hayden said he plans to recommend that the board request project bids at the May 20 board meeting.

“We plan on pursuing it further, but we need to know exactly what we’re looking at as far as a formal bid,” Hayden said. “We still have to go through the formalized bidding process to see exactly where we stand.”

Hayden said the board would also have to determine where its part of the project’s funding would come from. For example, the board would have to decide whether to use Capital Improvement funds for the project.

CCHS Principal Cynthia Stewart said project estimates the school has received range from $60,000–$250,000 from various companies, both local and outside the county, for repaving the lot.

“Obviously, we want to keep it realistic,” Easterling said, referring to the overall cost of the project.

The parking lot, measuring an estimated 8,460 square yards, extends from the gymnasium to the auditorium.

Years of wear and tear have taken their toll on the lot’s surface, which is a bumpy mixture of old pavement, new asphalt patches and chipped, faded paint stripes.

In addition to student and faculty parking on school days, the lot accommodates people attending community events, including Chilton County’s Peach Festival and Relay for Life.

With help from CCHS math students and local officials, Hudson and Easterling compiled a study of how the parking lot is used in conjunction with school and community events.

The study includes the following data:

•Basketball: 3,157 cars per year

•Blast from the Past practice: 7,300 cars per year

•Blast from the Past show: 1,600 cars

•Christmas Spectacular practice: 3,000 cars per year

•Christmas Spectacular show: 533 cars

•Football: 4,261 cars

•Band meetings: 520 cars from parents and 1,116 cars from students

•Band parking: 930 student cars per year

•Christmas Band Concert: 677 cars

•Fall band competition: Need “full parking lot”

•All faculty meetings: 487 cars

•Graduation: 900 cars

•Baccalaureate: 800 cars

•Blood drives: 109 cars (together)

•Senior Parent Night: 350 cars

•Junior Parent Night: 226 cars

•Clanton Middle School Beauty Night practice: 40 cars

•Clanton Middle School Beauty Night: 350 cars

•CCHS Beauty Night practice: 40 cars

•CCHS Beauty Night: 350 cars

•Peach Pageant: 450 cars

•Relay for Life: 150 cars

•Coca-Cola/Lays trucks: 130 per year

•CCHS open house: 800 cars

•Softball: 1,550 cars per year

Other facets of the study included:

•Student parking during the school day: April 2, 7–7:35 a.m. – 115 cars entered back parking lot and 120 cars dropped off students; April 1, second block – counted stationery cars on campus (front and back parking lot), with 252 on campus (202 in back and 50 in front); afternoon pickups April 1, 2:35–2:48 p.m. – 61 cars picked up students; afternoon pickups April 3, 2:35–3 p.m. – 89 cars picked up students.

According to the study, the number of buses entering and exiting the CCHS campus daily is 35, which can be doubled because any that enter campus must also exit campus.

LeCroy Career Technical Center buses comprise 11 of the 35 buses.

The number of LCTC buses would double because these buses pick students up and bring them back to campus.

LCTC buses come to the CCHS campus every block.

“I think those numbers prove a point,” Hudson said. “Everybody knows the shape [the parking lot is] in. We definitely want to see results.”

To make a monetary donation to the project, call Chilton County High School at (205) 280-2710.