SPUSD superintendent
says more parking after construction

July 02, 2014
Santa Paula News

Alfonso Gamino, Superintendent of the Santa Paula Unified School District is claiming there will be actually more parking at the high school campus after construction of the new Science and Technology buildings is complete.

He told board members that he and two board members recently met with city council members and most of the discussion concerned the parking issue. He said the upper parking lot had 32 spaces and 5th Street had 22. The lower lot, near Santa Paula Street could accommodate about 12 vehicles. Gamino said they had, in total, about 70 parking spaces. “After construction we will have a parking lot with 29 parking spaces and if we re-stripe 5th Street to have diagonal stalls for parking spaces, we will add 53 spaces on 5th Street,” he said. He noted that would give them 82 parking spaces, 12 more than before construction. 

The new buildings are slated to be completed by November 1. Gamino said they also talked about the closing of Palm Court during major sporting events. He said they’re also looking at meeting with the Youth Football organization to discuss having security  guards to control parking. 

Board member Michelle Kolbeck also attended the joint meeting. She said one part of the City’s vision statement talks about education and what they’d like to see happen. “I think unfortunately for them they would like it in their power but it’s actually the board’s power to make a lot of these things happen,” she added. Kolbeck said she went to a recent city council meeting where the parking issue was raised. Kolbeck said, “They didn’t seem to want to grant us until November 1.” She noted the council seemed to want immediate, overnight solutions. “Our role as a board is to open the schools, educate the students and continue to work with the city and if the city has to implement a parking permit area; if they’re willing to spend $30 or $40,000 dollars for a five or six block radius, have parking permits, have code officers, that’s the city’s business.” She added.

Kolbeck said, after talking to some residents that the board can do a better job of being a good neighbor. She suggested a neighborhood gathering. “I think part of the problem is families felt the city was listening to them, so if they could hear us, know that we’re accessible, that we want to be good neighbors, I think that would go a long way in easing the problem.”

Board President Diana Ponce-Gomez said she watched that same council meeting. She said some of the council members indicated that they were advocating for the people they represent. “My comment is that we represent the same people,” She added. “We’re all in this together and I really want to continue this dialogue. We all have an obligation to every single person that lives in this town. A hot line was suggested for people to call at the high school. Ponce-Gomez said it should be expanded to include all the schools. “We don’t need to be assigning blame at this point,” she said. “I don’t think it’s healthy or helpful to anybody. I think we could be better members and I think we need to start to do that.”

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