Haskell may charge for football parking

Lawrence school leaders’ ears perked up when Haskell Indian Nations University officials said they may charge for parking at high school football games.

But Ted Juneau, a consultant to Haskell President Linda Warner, said Friday there is no concrete proposal to establish a parking fee.

Juneau, however, said as part of a comprehensive review of university athletic programs, “We have to look at maximizing income.”

Lawrence and Free State high schools play home games at Haskell Stadium. The district pays Haskell $3,000 per year for use of the stadium, said Rich Gammill, special operations director for the school district.

Haskell and Lawrence school officials met this week as they always do at the start of the school year.

At the meeting, Warner said she had asked Juneau to look into a possible parking fee, Juneau said. Gammill said a $5-per-car fee was mentioned.

Gammill said he was reluctant to comment on the discussion because there was no official proposal. But, he said, stopping cars to pay a fee “I believe would be a logistical nightmare for a traffic situation. Cars would be backed up to Iowa Street.”

Juneau said “we are aware of the traffic situation.”

He said an assessment of Haskell’s athletic programs will be ready for Warner in a couple of months.

There has also been talk for years of installing artificial turf at Haskell Stadium because the field is used by three teams during football season: Haskell and the two Lawrence high schools. Participants at this week’s meeting said no discussion occurred on that issue.

Supt. Randy Weseman said he needs school board approval before approaching Haskell concerning a partnership to install artificial turf.

Free State’s first home game is Aug. 31 against Olathe South. LHS’s first home game is Sept. 14 against Shawnee Mission North.