Community Use of School District Buildings, Sites and Equipment

 

Community Use of School Facilities

 

School facilities are primarily intended for the District's educational and extracurricular activity programs. School facilities are, however, made available for use by outside groups to further the interests of the District and the community. Use by non-school groups is allowed pursuant to an application process and is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this policy.

 

For non-school groups or persons eligible to use or rent school facilities and equipment:

Subject to the approval of the superintendent and/or principal, groups may rent or use certain facilities and equipment of the school whenever such use does not interfere with the normal and usual work of the school, when the purpose of use is deemed worthy and when the officers of the organization are responsible persons. Inasmuch as it is a public building, its many services should be available to the public; yet, as a public building, it must not compete with legitimate business by providing free services in competition with such business, nor should the public use of public facilities carry with it prohibitive fees. Those groups using school facilities, and requiring the services of a custodian in connection with that use, will reimburse the school for those actual custodial costs.

 

Only organizations otherwise eligible, and which are known to possess financial resources sufficient to cover all rentals and possible damages, and who would be willing to discharge such obligations, shall be permitted to use school facilities and equipment.

 

1.      Application for Use.

 

Outside groups that wish to use school facilities must submit a completed Application for Use form signed by a representative of the outside group who has authority to commit the outside group to the terms and conditions of the Application. The outside group, as Applicant, shall specify the nature of the intended use, the dates and times of the requested use, and the facilities for which use is requested.

 

The form shall be developed by the administration. The form shall include the statement that:

 

This application is subject to the terms of the Board's "Community Use of School

Facilities" policy. The terms and conditions of that policy are incorporated into

this application by this reference. Applicant accepts all such terms and conditions.

 

2.      Acceptance of Application for Use.

 

Acceptance or rejection of applications shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee.

Approved ______________ Reviewed _______________ Revised ______________

Applications shall not be rejected for any unlawful reason, including unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, religion, disability, age, marital status, or veteran status, and including the applicant's legally protected exercise of constitutional or statutory rights.

 

The District's facilities are designated as non-public forums. Accordingly, applications shall not be accepted for:

 

  1. Uses that may conflict with or that disrupt the District's educational or extracurricular activity programs.
  2. Uses inconsistent with the mission of the District.
  3. Uses that present an unacceptable risk that the conditions of use set forth in this policy will not be adhered to; either due to the nature of the requested use or the character of the group or individuals within the group.
  4. Uses that present an unacceptable risk of damage or unacceptable wear and tear to facilities or equipment.
  5. Uses for outside commercial activities except with approval of the Board.; and except for camps and other activities for high school students subject to and consistent with Bylaws of the Nebraska School Activities Association.
  6. Uses that involves gambling or games of chance.
  7. Uses that involves a group or activity which advocates or condones the violent overthrow of the Constitution or of the government.
  8. Uses that involve the meetings of secret clubs not open to members of the public.
  9. Non-community type uses such as wedding receptions, slumber parties, personal use and similar activities.

 

Applications for use of facilities may be denied based on unsuitability of the date or time of the requested use. Facilities will generally not be available for community use at times when school staff are not available to monitor the Applicant's use, such as on legal holidays; before 7:00 a.m.; after 10:00 p.m. and Sunday mornings prior to Noon.

 

Leases of school facilities require approval of the Board. As such, Applications that request long-term use of facilities in the nature of a lease will be denied.

 

Applications may be denied based on the determination of the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee that the Applicant does not have the financial ability or financial responsibility to pay fees or expenses or to reimburse the District for any damages that may be sustained to facilities or equipment or any liability that may be created by the use.

 

When an Application conflicts with another Application, the Applications will be accepted according to the following priority order:

 

  1. Events or activities that are designed to service students of the District or which are related to any function of the District, including approved school-community associations and school-affiliated non-profit groups.
  2. Tax-supported agencies such as educational entities or units of city, county or state government.
  3. Non-profit community agencies such as private educational agencies.
  4. Groups where the majority of the members reside within the District.

 

For use conflicts within each group, priority will be given to the first to submit their Application; provided that the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee may approve an Application that is not first-filed if the other Applicant's use could be feasibly changed to a non-conflicting time or area.

 

Applications that are accepted may not be assigned or transferred to another outside group.

 

Applications that are accepted are subject to cancellation by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee. Cancellation will occur in the event the administration reasonably determines:

 

  1. Any of the reasons for non-acceptance of an application exist.
  2. The Applicant fails to meet any term or condition required prior to the use. This  includes but is not limited to failure of the Applicant to pay required fees or deposits or failure to show evidence that any required insurance is in place.
  3. Circumstances make the use unsuitable. This includes but is not limited to:

 

                    i.            The condition of the facilities being unsafe. For example, the presence of snow, ice, fallen limbs or other potential hazards that the school would not otherwise clear prior to the activity or event. The Applicant may request that the District clear the hazards such that it may proceed with its activity or event. If the District agrees to do so, the Applicant shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the District in clearing the hazard.

                  ii.            School staff being unavailable to monitor the use or to provide set up or clean up services where the District has accepted responsibility for such.

                iii.            The need to use the facilities for a school activity or purpose.

 

Generally, if school is closed on the date of the Applicant's intended use due to inclement weather or hazardous conditions, the Applicant's use will be cancelled.

 

The Applicant shall remain responsible for fees or expenses, and any deposit that has been received by the District shall be forfeited and be kept by the District, if cancellation occurs because of the fault of the Applicant. Otherwise, the District will return any deposit that has been received by the District. The District will in no event be responsible for any damages, expenses, or losses incurred by the Applicant or any person arising from the cancellation.

 

An Applicant may withdraw its Application at any time prior to acceptance. An accepted application may be withdrawn by the Applicant, subject to approval of the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee. Approval is subject to the conditions that the Applicant has given reasonable advance notice (ordinarily, at least 48 hours) and that the Applicant reimburse the District for any expense the District has incurred.

 

3.      Conditions of Use.

 

The conditions for use are as follows:

 

  1. Compliance. Applicant agrees to:

                                i.            Comply with all local, state and federal laws, including health and fire codes.

                              ii.            Comply with Board policies concerning non-discrimination and the use of school facilities.

                            iii.            Comply with reasonable administrative rules related to use of facilities and the requests of school officials related to the Applicant's use of the facility.

 

  1. Disclaim School Sponsorship. The District does not sponsor or endorse the Applicant or the activity or event conducted by the Applicant. To ensure that the public understands this fact, the Applicant agrees to not make any statements suggesting such sponsorship and to publish statements of non-school sponsorship in such form and manner as the administration may request.

 

  1. Supervision. Applicant agrees to provide appropriate supervision of the activity or event in all respects, including supervision reasonably necessary to ensure that no person participating in or attending the activity or event:

                                i.            Is presented with conditions that pose an unreasonable risk of personal injury or damage to personal property.

                              ii.            Enters any area of the school facilities that the Applicant has not been given permission to use, or accesses any school records.

                            iii.            Engages in the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, or is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

                            iv.            Possesses a firearm or a weapon,

                              v.            Engages in disorderly, lewd, or lascivious conduct.

                            vi.            Engages in any criminal behavior.

 

Applicant shall remove any person from the activity or event who engages in any of the above listed conduct. Applicant agrees to report to the school administration by the close of the next business day the identity of any person who engaged in any of the above listed conduct and the details of the conduct. If the offending person is a student, the report shall be made immediately.

 

In the event the school administration determines that the nature of the activity or event warrants the presence of security services, Applicant agrees to provide such security services.

 

Applicant agrees to ensure that all persons attending its activity or event are off school grounds at the end of its time of permitted use, except for students or school staff who are authorized to remain for a school-related purpose.

 

  1. Condition of Premises. Applicant agrees to:

                                i.            Conduct a reasonable inspection of the premises prior to the activity or event to ensure that the premises are safe for the intended use. In the event of any unsafe condition, Applicant shall notify an administrator. In the event the unsafe condition is not corrected prior to the activity or event, the Applicant shall postpone or cancel the activity or event.

                              ii.            Not use or allow any school equipment to be used without express approval of school administration.

                            iii.            Not bring or allow others to bring food or beverages on to school grounds without express approval of school administration.

                            iv.            Not bring or allow others to bring or use any flammable items (including candles or incense) or any volatile chemical or any explosive.

                              v.            Not use any electrical equipment that has been brought onto the premises without express approval of school administration.

                            vi.            Not allow the wearing of street shoes or shoes with black soles on gym floors or other protected surfaces.

                          vii.            Not park or allow others to park in fire lanes or reserved spaces or in any manner inconsistent with the school's parking rules.

                        viii.            Not cause or allow others to cause damage to school facilities or equipment.

1.      In the event damages are sustained, Applicant accepts responsibility for reimbursing the District for the cost of repair or replacement.

2.      Applicant agrees that the school administration's determination that damage was sustained in connection with the Applicant's use, and of the cost of repair or replacement, is controlling.

3.      Applicant shall immediately report to the school administration any damage to school facilities or equipment that occurs during the Applicant's use of school facilities that may present a risk of injury to students or any subsequent users. Any other damage shall be reported by the close of the next business day.

                            ix.            Return the facilities in as good a condition as it was prior to use. This includes, without limitation, cleaning, removal of trash, and returning tables and chairs and other school property to their proper location. The clean-up shall be promptly completed. In the event the District provides the clean-up service, Applicant agrees to reimburse the District for the cost of such clean-up.

                              x.            Remove any property brought in by the Applicant and by any person attending the activity or event. The District is not responsible for any personal property that is left on the premises.

 

  1. Financial Responsibility. Applicant agrees to:

 

                                            i.            Procure, at its own expense, a Comprehensive General Liability insurance policy naming the District as an additional insured. This policy shall be written with a minimum of $1,000,000 Combined Single Limit per occurrence. A Certificate of Insurance evidencing coverage must be submitted prior to the Applicant's use.

                                          ii.            The insurance requirement is subject to waiver by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee only in circumstances where the intended use presents very little potential for injury or damage and the activity or event is designed to serve the District's students or staff.

                                        iii.            Indemnify and hold the District, the Board, school employees and agents of the District harmless from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, or lawsuits for any death or personal injury or damage to property sustained during, caused by or arising out of the Applicant's use of school facilities.

 

4.      Fees for Use.

 

The Superintendent or Superintendent's designee shall establish a daily use fee schedule that establishes rates for specific parts of the school facilities (that is, kitchen, auditorium, gymnasium, athletic field, classrooms, meeting rooms). The rates shall be reviewed on a periodic basis; with the review to occur no less than every two years.

 

The fee rates shall be in an amount sufficient to cover estimated staff time and direct costs associated with:

 

  1. Processing. Cost of processing the Application, postage, invoicing and coordination of the use.
  2. Access. Cost of providing access; such as unlocking doors before use and lockingnafter use, turning lights on and off, and disarming/re-arming security systems.
  3. Custodial. Cost of providing custodial or maintenance services to prepare the facility for the use and for clean-up after the use.
  4. Kitchen. Cost of providing access to the kitchen facilities; as ordinarily any permitted use of the kitchen will require the presence of a member of the school's food service staff.
  5. Special Equipment. Cost of making special equipment available such as sound and lighting set-up; as ordinarily any permitted use of special equipment will require the presence of a member of the school's staff who is familiar with proper use of the equipment.
  6. Monitoring. Cost of administrative or other professional staff to monitor the Applicant's use to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the permitted use.
  7. Security. Cost of providing security services when determined to be needed for the activity or event.

 

 

The fee schedule shall be applied evenly to all Applicants, with two exceptions:

 

  1. A different fee may be assessed where the Superintendent or Superintendent's designee reasonably determines that the Applicant's use will require staff time or cause direct costs different than those used in establishing the fee schedule.
  2. A fee waiver or reduced fee rate shall be given for use where the activity or event is designed to serve students of the District or children; such as approved school- community associations and school-affiliated non-profit groups and summertime sports leagues, sports camps, etc., that are subject to NSAA regulations.

 

5.      Use Consistent with NSAA Bylaws.

 

Use of school facilities for activities that are subject to the Bylaws of the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) shall be permitted subject to and in accordance with the NSAA Bylaws. Such use shall be consistent with this policy for non-school groups. Examples of acceptable use of school facilities for activities are:

Summer Leagues. There must be evidence that the organization or individual conducting the league has rented or leased the facility (for example, via an Application for Use) to prove the school is not involved in its sponsorship or funding.

Commercial Sport Camps/Clinics. School facilities for use by individuals, including the District's own coaches or other organizations for commercial camps/clinics or schools. Camps conducted by high school coaches shall be publicized as open to all area individuals wishing to attend and not limited to students from the coach's high school.

All Star competition that involves graduated seniors.

Competitive meets and contests sponsored by non-school groups.

Facilities approved under the above stipulations include: gymnasiums, tracks, swimming pools, tennis courts, athletic playing fields, and baseball and softball diamonds.

 

Legal Reference:                     Good News Club v. Milford