Parking & lunch: students feel the crunch


The upper parking lot is currently a building site for the new Upper School for Boys.

The start of the 2018-2019 school year has presented the Upper School with overcrowding spurred from construction and schedule changes in the new shared spaces in the dining hall and parking lots.


As an urban campus, Annie Wright lacks ample space for parking. Previously the school had three private parking lots: the Kemper Gym lot, the 10th Street lot, and the side lot by the front lawn. The side lot, however, is now the construction site for the new Upper School for Boys academic building. Otherwise, the school community relies on public street parking, some of which is by resident permits.

After investigation, there are currently eight parking spaces in the Kemper lot not reserved for dorm parents, buses and vans, or administrative guests, and there are 11 unreserved spots in the 10th Street parking lot.

The construction of the new Upper School for Boys academic building, however, has posed parking challenges. The new building site has replaced the side lot, where dorm parents and school vans used to park. These groups have been displaced to the Kemper lot, where school buses also park. Also, to accommodate for construction needs, students and faculty are asked not to park on the school side block of Tacoma Avenue outside the front of school.

Students who drive themselves to school have expressed the struggle to find a parking space before school starts at 8:00 am.

Junior Audrey Johnson, who lives a few blocks away from the school, mentioned that she has to leave her home between 7:20 and 7:30 am in order to find a parking space. However, she typically circles the block several times before finding a parking space.

Junior Sophia Jeter said that finding a parking space is “fine, but it’s kind of a far walk and it’s hard carrying all of [her] stuff.” Additionally, she finds it an awkward situation when she has to park in front of residents’ houses.

To mitigate a lack of parking space, the school has leased 20 parking spaces from Immanuel Presbyterian Church about seven blocks away. Faculty volunteer to park there, and a shuttle van runs to school in the mornings. When a faculty member parks there for a year, he or she will receive a guaranteed parking spot on campus the following year.

With the completion of the USB building, the school will construct an additional 60 parking spaces, along with access to the 20 spaces at Immanuel Church. “This is significantly more parking than previously, while not adding that many more students,” Head of Schools Christian Sullivan said.



The lunchroom has also felt the effects of more people; the lunch line often begins outside of the lunch room. Due to schedule changes, the US girls, boys and faculty all share a lunch period from 11:05-11:50 am.

Anna Parrott, a freshman at the US for girls, relies on getting out of class early so that she can “run down to lunch before the line gets too long to stand in.” Even when she gets there early, others have gotten there earlier, and she is still guaranteed a ten minute wait.

Other students who mostly take their time to make their way to lunch have experienced the lunch line from a different perspective: the back. From the back of the line, “It’s at least a 20 minute wait to get your food, which only leaves 10 minutes to actually eat it,” Simren Khan, another freshman, remarked.

Many other students have had similar experiences, leading some of them to turn to alternative options, one being the AWS Bookstore. When the lunch line is too long, some students resort to the cups of noodles available at the Bookstore. Others resort to the free soup and salad bar, usually something people consume as a side to their main meals. A few students have even cut out lunch altogether.