Good afternoon all,
An update on Saint Mark school’s playground, basketball courts, and parking lot access.
While there is nothing to report on the criminal investigation (sadly, car theft & mischief is both common and nigh-impossible to track down these days :-/), we’ve been reviewing what measures we want to take with regards to our gates.
Some context: especially during the pandemic, it became clear that Saint Mark school’s playground, basketball court, and field were a valued resource to our neighbors. Folks greatly appreciated being able to go to a safe (and maintained!) location with their children, family, and friends. When at one point we restricted all access to these facilities, we received a great number of calls (gently, respectfully, but urgently) asking us to reconsider, as this was one of the few – if not the only – accessible locations near their homes. We also have any number of parishioners who, with their children in tow after a long Mass and/or errands around town, look forward to sitting down while their children burn off energy in a safe, known place.
I emphasize this because we desire to balance safety & security with good stewardship & sharing of our facilities.
With that in mind and in light of the recent mischief, what we’re considering is locking the vehicle gates – and ONLY the vehicle gates – outside of office hours or Mass times. The pedestrian entrances – specifically the one next to our cafeteria and the street-side gate between the school & gym – would be unlocked, allowing the many folks who responsibly enjoy our facilities to continue to do so (albeit, without their vehicles).
Of course, we would review this practice over time and see how it plays out – particularly if it lends itself to a good balance of usability & safety or if further restrictiveness is needed.
We’re not quite at a decision point yet, but I thought I’d share with you all what we’re considering and the reasoning behind it.