GBHS Parking Palooza

Seniors spend the night in the lot in hopes to reserve spots by their friends.


Granite Bay High School’s senior students deliberately sacrificed their greatest freedom, sleeping in their own beds, for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of sleeping in a dirty parking lot.

Every year, senior students are able to purchase a parking spot and paint it with their own personalized designs.

So, on the night of August 14, 2017, seniors eagerly gathered to sleep in the GBHS parking lot in order to secure spots which would begin to be sold at 6 a.m. the following morning.

“It’s worth it to buy a senior spot instead of a normal one because if you have to show up late to school, you know you have a spot waiting for you,” senior Dante Tafoya said. “Also, it’s fun knowing you’ll park next to your friends every day.”

Normal parking spots are available for all licensed drivers in grades 11 and 12.

And for the first time ever this year, general admission parking passes were free.

Though cheaper than previous years, senior parking spots remained costly and sold at $40 in order to pay for the supplies needed to decorate spots.

“It’s up to the senior president and vice president how much spots will cost,” senior class advisor and teacher Lisa Goldsmith said. “They buy the paint supplies based on (the profit) from the parking spots.”

With over 500 seniors in the Class of 2018 and only 150 spots available for purchase, some chaos was inevitable.

Students slept in truck beds, hammocks and chairs in order to make certain that they would have a place in line when the clock struck six.

“I fell asleep in the line, which began to (form) around 2 a.m.,” senior Chase Mannsfeld said. “I slept for three hours, woke up at 5 a.m. when the line actually opened and then hung out till I got my spot.”

Multiple friend groups, such as Tafoya’s and Mannsfeld’s, planned out their spot locations ahead of time for a variety of reasons, the main one being the fact that friends would be able to be near each other before and after school.

“My friends and I wanted to get a spot near each other because if I’m going to hit someone’s car, I’d rather hit a friend’s,” senior Carly Wallace said.

It is not surprising that within the chaos of the parking planning, some minor complications arose.

“The cops showed up in the middle of the night when we were sleeping, because of a noise complaint,” Mannsfeld said. “But they let us stay.”

While dealing with police, sleep deprivation and homework due the next day, late-night hunger also became a common issue among the sleepover seniors.

“My friends and I did an Adalberto’s run at 2:30 a.m. since it’s open 24/7 and got a bunch of breakfast burritos and super nachos,” Mannsfeld said.

Tafoya and his friends ordered pizza around the same time, while Wallace and others brought snacks with them.

“(Some) interesting memories from that night were definitely me peeing my pants, laughing while playing the guitar at 2 a.m. and eating cinnamon toast crunch,” Wallace said.

Never in the history of GBHS have students spent the night in order to purchase parking spots.

“I thought it was really unnecessary and as fun as it was, it was just a huge liability,” Goldsmith said. “There was no one supervising there; they shouldn’t have done it.”

According to Goldsmith, there were actually extra parking spots leftover last year, whereas this year, students waiting in line at 5 a.m. had to be turned away due to filled up spots.

After learning of the incident, GBHS administration has since considered ways to change the process of obtaining a senior spot so there are no repeat occurrences.

“We were more upset that the parking lot was trashed,” Goldsmith said. “It kind of reflected badly on seniors as a class, which was disappointing.”

The following weeks after purchasing spots, seniors were given four dates in which they could paint their spots.

Paint was provided by student government and seniors were given measurements as to how large they could paint their spots.

From beloved animals to self portraits, students got creative with their designs.

“I painted my truck on my spot, but my favorite design that I have seen was my friend’s South African flag,” Tafoya said.

The events and stories that lie within the Granite Bay Parking Lot, renowned as “GBPL”, will continue on with the legacy of GBHS.