Old student lot re-opens, most spots still to be filled


BP Photo by Neima Fax

PARALLEL: The first two cars in four years to park in Shalhevet’s student lot tucked themselves in around 7:20 this morning. Officials say the opening of the lot, at the northeast corner of Fairfax and San Vicente, means all seniors will now have spaces, and a few juniors will too.

By Jacob Joseph Lefkowitz Brooks, Community Editor

Long awaited and much delayed, Shalhevet’s old student parking lot finally opened its new gates last Monday, for the first time in school history providing parking for all seniors.

But at five minutes before 8 a.m. when school would start, only two cars were parked there. That was because most most seniors were parked in the Tom Bergin’s Tavern parking lot right next to the school building, where they’ve been since Shalhevet began renting it back on Sept. 12.

The reopened, repaved and refurbished old lot is about a block away, across the street at the northwest corner of Fairfax Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.  

Senior class presidents Talia Abel and Tara Chriki had held a raffle in September to determine who could park in the Bergin’s lot.  There were enough spaces for all but six drivers.

When the San Vicente lot re-opened, first to receive spaces were the six students who had been deprived before — that is, who had spent the past three months scrounging for street parking while the rest of the class zipped into Bergin’s each day.  

The rest of the Bergin’s spaces were apportioned by a second lottery, held Dec. 4. The six out of 26 senior entrants who did not win that raffle now park in the lot which sits at Fairfax and San Vicente.

Even though it’s farther than Bergin’s, they are not complaining.

Senior Aaron Weisel previously parked in the Tom Bergin’s lot.

“I need to leave to school a couple minutes earlier if I want to be on time to Hashkama or my first period class,” said Aaron. “But other than that, it’s not too big of a difference. I’m happy that I still have a parking spot.”

Senior Isaac Kahtan lost the first lottery and now is parking at Bergin’s.  He was grateful not to have to scavenge the surrounding neighborhood for spots which were never guaranteed, sometimes having to pay to park at the Petersen Automotive Museum, three blocks away at Fairfax and Wilshire.

“It’s made my stress levels in the morning drop big time,” said Isaac of his new space. “Instead of having to wake up extra early and hunt for parking so that I would not have to pay the $20 at Peterson, I get to sleep in an extra 20 minutes every day.”

Isaac also said his guaranteed spot makes going off campus easier because he does not have to worry about his parking space being taken when he is gone.


Instead of having to wake up extra early and hunt for parking so that I would not have to pay the $20 at Peterson, I get to sleep in an extra 20 minutes every day.

— Isaac Kahtan, 12th grade

Currently, the new old lot is sparsely occupied. Principal Daniel Weslow said this would change soon.

Mr. Weslow said remaining spaces in the student lot will soon be available for 11th-graders, and that priority will be decided the same way it was decided for the Bergin’s lot, with a lottery. According to Mr. Weslow, Agenda Vice-chair Maya Tochner will be in charge of the junior lottery.

While Mr. Weslow previously stated some spots might be used for faculty who do not have parking, he now says that there are no current plans for this.

Still unclear is what the hours of the new lot will be.  Currently, students can only park there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which matches the times in the Bergin’s lot.  Hours at Bergin’s are limited because the tavern is open as a restaurant some days beginning at 5.

But Mr. Weslow says that the school may extend the times for the San Vicente lot.

“That is something we are looking into in terms of co-curriculars, sports and coming back to campus late, etc.,” wrote Mr. Weslow in an email response to Boiling Point questions.

The San Vicente parking lot was last used by students four years ago, when school was still being held in the old building — a former convalescent hospital that stretched all the way from the south edge of Bergin’s Tavern to the northeast corner of San Vicente Boulevard.

It was originally expected to re-open at the start of the current school year, but then was delayed until after Sukkot, then until late November, until it finally opened Monday.

Get the latest from The Boiling Point. Sign up for our news feed.