New staff parking lot opened this week

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author

The hard courts in front of the Big Gym have been converted into a staff parking lot. Photo provided by Kimberly Diorio.
The hard courts in front of the Big Gym have been converted into a staff parking lot. Photo provided by Kimberly Diorio.

This week, the hard courts in front of Palo Alto High School’s Big Gym have been converted into 35 parking spots for staff to accommodate for the increasing demand for parking, according to assistant principal Kimberly Diorio.

The section of the Churchill parking lot previously reserved for staff is now open to students, according to Diorio, who is working on removing the signs that read “Staff Only.”

The demand for new spots is partially due to community concerns about students parking in the residential neighborhood near Churchill Ave, instead of in Paly’s parking spots, according to Diorio.

“We’re trying our best to accommodate our growing student enrollment, to be good neighbors and respectful of the immediate community’s concern about Paly students not being able to park on our campus,” Diorio said.

Diorio reminded students that there are nearly always empty parking spots in the corner of the Embarcadero parking lot, near the intersection of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real.

“We’re trying to be proactive in terms of planning ahead in terms of the situations that might come about next year when we undergo additional construction projects, such as the Performing Arts Center, because those projects could possibly take away parking spots,” Diorio said.

This expansion of the Churchill parking lot is among the first steps being taken by the administration to accommodate a growing student population and limited space on campus.

“We’re trying to think ahead, plan ahead and be proactive by coming up with some creative solutions both short term and long term,” Diorio said.