New details revealed about the cost of student parking this fall


Margot Addis

Students park on a cold fall morning at Hamilton Wenham High School.

The cost for students to park at Hamilton Wenham Regional High School this fall has been raised from $100 last fall, to $200 this fall. 

The new school year raises questions and answers as to where this money goes, why there was a rise in price from last year, and who determines the price students pay to park. 

Principal Bryan Menegoni addressed the noticeable rise in the cost for students to park at HWRHS. “Last year [students] were coming to school half the time’…. ‘it didn’t make sense [last year] to charge $200 whereas now [students] are coming to school every day.” 

When asked where this money goes, Menegoni said, “The parking fee money goes into an account that the district controls. [The High School] has nothing to do with it really other than, we’re the entity that has to collect the money.”

Menegoni added that the district then puts the money towards parking lot maintenance at the High School. “The district uses [the money] to maintain the parking lot” and the district “[budgets] their money on a yearly basis.” 

[The High School] has nothing to do with it really other than, we’re the entity that has to collect the money.

— Principal Bryan Menegoni

            Thomas Geary, the maintenance director highlighted how expensive maintenance costs were,  “[it is] between $40,000 on a typical year to $55,000”. This range includes police detail, plowing, tree work, catch basins, lot striping, and general parking lot repairs.  

Most of this maintenance happens on a yearly basis, while the lot striping happens on a 3 to 4-year basis. Geary looked at a previous quote and added,  “ lot striping is approximately $15,000”. 

Geary provided information regarding yearly maintenance funds. He stated, “Police detail to assist with traffic flow is approximately $13,000. Snow plowing is approximately $22,000 (this can vary based on winter conditions), and catch basins, tree work, and general repairs can range in the $5,000-$7,000 range.” 

When it comes to what percentage of parking lot maintenance is covered by student parking fees, Geary said, “The expenses are distributed amongst the general fund and the revolving account. In general, the fees are enough to cover the police detail & painting with some funds remaining.”

While it’s clear that the upkeep of the parking facilities is costly, students still wish the fee was smaller.

Belle Maiante, a senior at HWRHS said, “It’s nice knowing more about where our money is going. I still think for a parking spot, it’s a lot of money to ask families for.”

Geary said, “[He’s] always open to ideas to improve the facilities and grounds for the District!”