Since Nov. 2004, El Centro students have not had a place to park. That will soon change, however, as El Centro will have the use of two parking lots as early as this January, according to Director of El Centro Daniel Lopez.
El Centro’s landlord, the Aspira Alternative High School, acquired the lots recently and will share them with El Centro students. Lopez said this arrangement would work well, as Aspira classes are mostly in the daytime and El Centro classes are in the evening.
Until Nov. 2004, students at El Centro used the parking lot of the Jewel Food Store across from the school until it was closed to make way for a condominium development. Since then, El Centro students have had to find parking on the street, some of which is neighborhood zoned or has rush-hour parking restrictions.
Currently, Aspira is working on having zoning changed to allow the space to be used as a lot, as well as aquiring construction permits from the city so the lots can be transformed from dirt to blacktop. According to Lopez, Aspira estimated this will take until January.
Until then Lopez said, “I encourage students to come a little early and drive around the block [to look for parking on the street].”
One lot, which will hold approximately 14 cars, is located at the corner of Barry and Belmont, across the street from El Centro between the gas station and the old Jewel Food Store lot.
The other lot, which will hold approximately 30 cars, is located at Springfield and Belmont, 2 blocks east of El Centro. Lopez said he is also talking to others about finding more parking.