Parking Goes to the Head of the Class
Space at School Auctioned for $17,000
Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, WA, established as a high school in 1980, has expanded over the years and is now a private Catholic school with approximately 925 students in Grades 6 through 12.
The school, in a suburb of Seattle/Bellevue, encompasses 50 acres that include the classroom buildings on top of a hill, athletics’ fields and parking areas. The parking lots are close to the ballfields, but somewhat remote from the main buildings.
Like many schools, Eastside Catholic (EC) holds fundraisers to keep up with needs for special projects and programs and operating expenses. Along with the traditional donut sales and carwash ticket sales, one EC fundraiser takes advantage of a specific challenge for many parents, and in doing so, generates thousands of dollars each year.
Parking is especially tight closest to the school buildings, where parents are dropping off and picking up their children for academic activities, athletics and community service.
One parking remedy is an annual auction of 15 spaces. Winners receive their spaces for a year, beginning July 1.
Each reserved space has a placard with the name of the family or student who won the space, with 14 of them located near the campus ballfields. Parking spaces fill up quickly during the school’s sporting and all-school events, so these spaces are in high demand.
At the end of the year, the family is given their name plate as a souvenir. These 14 spaces bring in as much as $3,500 per space for a year of use.
The 15th auctioned space, which is closest to the school’s main entrance, is most coveted. Atop the hill, this parking space is truly a VIP spot. It commands as much as $17,000 per year of usage.
Avoiding unauthorized parkers is a must for EC officials if they want to maintain the value of the auctioned parking space year after year.
To prevent all but the auction winner from using that very special parking spot, the school has installed MySpot 500, a parking barrier that responds to a special key fob controller to raise and lower the barrier. The auction winner receives two or more of these fobs.
“It functions perfectly for what we need it for,” she said. “And with its easy installation and low-cost maintenance, we’d like to add more for other reserved spaces.”
MySpot 500, designed and marketed by Designated Parking Corp. (DPC), is specifically designed to control access to individual parking spaces. The battery-powered remote-controlled unit is self-contained, and raises and lowers the barrier on command in 8 seconds.
The unit, placed in the center of the individual parking space, is anchored to the lot surface so that it can resist attempts to overpower it. Its internal batteries last two years and can be readily replaced by the school’s maintenance personnel.
Rudor (Dori) Teich is President, Designated Parking Corp.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the parking barriers, go to