Holley schools may charge to use buildings

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2013 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – The school district may start charging outside organizations $50 an hour when they use school facilities. That would help cover the district’s costs for custodial and security services, Holley officials said.

However, non-profit organizations shouldn’t expect a bill from the school, said John Heise, Board of Education president.

“I don’t want to start charging organizations that are doing good for kids,” he said.
Holley currently doesn’t charge when outside organizations use school buildings. Don Penna, the buildings and grounds superintendent, researched other schools’ policies and found many bill outside groups, with some even charging per room.

Penna suggested a $50 flat fee for each hour a group is using the school. That would be limited to building use, and not the outdoor fields.

“I would like to get to a break-even point,” Penna told the BOE on March 18. “We want to get some of our costs back for the extra work.”

Heise and the board members asked for list of all the groups that use Holley facilities. Board members said a policy could distinguish between non-profits and other organizations.

Robert D’Angelo, the district superintendent, said many rural schools don’t charge non-profit organizations.

“They waive the fees to encourage people to use the schools,” he said.

Penna said he would compile the list and make a recommendation to the board on which groups should be assessed a fee.

Heise said groups like the Girl Scouts shouldn’t worry they’ll soon be billed for using the school.

“It’s not decided that we’re doing this,” he said. “The community has already paid for the school with their taxes.”