Concreting a colorful tradition

Painted parking spots to fund Project Grad


Courtesy of Mix 94.7 Facebook

Student-painted parking spots from nearby high schools.

by Ainsley Shaw, Reporter

Imagine cruising up to school every morning and not having to worry about finding a parking spot. Furthermore, imagine having a reserved, permanent and personalized spot to call your own. To fund Project Grad, Principal Chris Simpson, senior Shadan Bankston, junior Mia Evans, junior Addison Porch and a few Rouse High School students are working to finalize a plan that will make this dream come true, and allow 2020-21 seniors to paint their own parking spots.

“To be honest, I have been approached each year regarding this and each time have been told ‘no,’ [by those higher up than me]” principal Simpson said. “For me, I loved it. I’ve always loved it and was excited about the completeness of the project as proposed by the students.”

Even though the initial hope was to finalize the project in time for this year’s seniors, the upperclassmen are still campaigning for underclassmen to get the experience.

“As much as I would want to, I don’t think that we will be able to pull it together in time,” Simpson said. “It’s much more complicated than just painting and repainting. Approval process and designating a day to paint as well as cleanup day is really not feasible at this time. Plus, the cost implications are different now that we are two-thirds finished with the school year.”

As of right now, the proposal states that the parking spots will cost about $75, with $40 for a parking permit, $20 for the black paint to eventually be used to cover up the painting and $15 to go toward funding Project Grad. Students will supply their own paint and are responsible for painting over their spots before they graduate.

“No student will be left out, and scholarships and discounts are part of the proposal,” Simpson said. “I really hope we can get some legs on this project and bring some color and fun to our parking lot.  I am extremely proud of our students for putting together such a well-thought-out plan.”

The paintings must not be inappropriate or the privilege will be taken away with no refund. Paintings must not include but are not limited to: offensive language, flags, double meaning words, nicknames (unless approved), gang-related signs/slang, negative or rude language, boyfriend or girlfriend’s name, or political affiliation.

“This is something that our students will get to do, and it isn’t a right,” Simpson said. “We have a great, respectful student body here. I don’t anticipate any major concerns. It’s an easy thing to take away if we abuse or don’t do the right thing.”

With high hopes of approval for next year, the plan for painting senior parking spots has been shared with the LISD Board, Simpson’s supervisor and other high schools.

“I hope that the incoming class can partake in a fun event that brings the class together, creating a tradition to make the culture here better than it already is,” senior Shadan Bankston said. “It’s a bummer that the class that initially proposed this idea can’t participate in it given the lack of time we have in this last semester, but I’m happy to create something that leaves an impact on the school.”