Smith Vocational High School students refurbish parking meters

The meters will be replaced as they are finished, starting with the downtown

green parking meter
Green Meter = 1 Hour Max. (Photo Courtesy: Northampton Police Department)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Smith Vocational High School is putting their students to work to serve their city and they are refurbishing all of Northampton’s parking meters. All 700 of them.

They do 13 a week, 70 so far, and won’t be done until May, but the cooperation of the students in the automotive department at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School is expected to save the city thousands of dollars.

The instructor told 22News it’s a win-win because the city saves money and the students get practice spray painting. The city gives the kids the materials, but the labor is done by the students. Instructor Michael Brooks told 22News some of the meters are in rough shape from all the snow and salt.

Michael Brooks, Collision Repair Instructor, Smith Vocational said, “They will hold up for a little while. A lot longer than a spray can will. They come in. The student shave to sand them. Sometime they have to be stripped down to the bare metal. And then we work our way up from corrosion protection and primers and sealers to finally automotive paint.”

Northampton is in the middle of a parking system upgrade. They already upgraded some lot kiosk. Once they are freshly painted, these meters will also get a technology upgrade and be able to accept credit and debit cards.

You will even be able to pay with your smartphone. The meters will be replaced as they are finished, starting with the downtown.