KSU played host to eight of the 16 Cobb County graduations starting Thursday and running through this afternoon, with approximately 30,000 attendees, not including graduates, according to Doug Goodwin of the Cobb County School District.
If each car were to bring three people, the university has the potential to collect more than $100,000 in parking fees just from high school graduations this week.
On top of the parking fees KSU will take in, Goodwin said the school district paid $18,000 to rent the space at KSU over a four-day period, including the time for setup and breakdown.
Students are given free tickets for family and friends for the ceremonies at the KSU Convocation Center, which can hold 4,260 people.
Marietta resident Tom Edwards was alerted about the cost in a package of tickets for his grandson’s Harrison High School graduation ceremony to take place this morning.
Edwards said he was upset about “the outrageous parking charge,” and added that there are no other options.
“The $10 was a little bit overboard,” Edwards said. He said he felt $5 would be reasonable to cover parking attendant costs.
Tammy DeMel, a spokeswoman for KSU, said the funds “go to ensure the safety of our patrons and helps offset the cost of security (police and traffic control) as well as custodial/maintenance services. This is a parking fee the university charges for all large events, not only Cobb County graduation patrons.”
The Department of Parking and Transportation for KSU arranges access to parking facilities prior to an event, which includes a $10 per vehicle fee if there will be more than 500 vehicles, according to the website https://web.kennesaw.edu/