At the committee’s meeting Wednesday, the topic of the night was fees to use elementary school buildings, such as classrooms and gymnasiums.
Earlier, committee members had talked about a six-tier structure to categorize every possible group that might want to use school sites. On Wednesday, they decided to adopt a structure similar to that used by Manteca Unified School District, with four tiers of fees
“We’re trying to condense it and make it user friendly,” said committee chairman Matthew Balzarini. “We’re trying to streamline the process.”
The new tier structure is as follows:
n Tier 1: School-sponsored activities (PTA and boosters meetings, school graduations, club fundraisers), no rental fee
n Tier 2A: Youth groups and governmental agencies (Little League, youth football, swimming clubs), $15 wear-and-tear fee
n Tier 2B: Other nonprofits (adult sports, fundraisers not beneficial to youth) and churches, $15 wear-and-tear fee and $35 administration fee
n Tier 3: For-profit organizations not associated with LUSD, the same fee structure as Tier 2B, but with an additional $60 fair rental fee.
An example of a Tier 3 organization is a martial arts group that uses a multipurpose room at one of the schools, Balzarini said.
LUSD business chief and committee member Alvina Keyser emphasized that the plan was “just a draft” that the board of trustees would have to approve.
“It’s a work in progress,” Balzarini said. “It’s changed several times. We’re having discussions and encouraging input from the public.”
The next step the committee discussed was to identify who should get rental priority. Balzarini suggested giving Tier 1 groups the first choice and then making it first come, first served for groups in all other tiers.
Committee member and trustee Shane Nielson disagreed, contending that prioritizing Tier 1 could result in groups with long-term agreements getting pushed aside on dates they wanted to reserve.
Balzarini stressed the need to create a priority list, and Nielson recommended giving the new policy rules to groups that already rent space on July 1 and letting them begin the application process Aug. 1. He said that would give district officials time to review the rental applications.
Balzarini questioned whether school site officials would have enough time to decide when they wanted to reserve their schools for their own functions.
Keyser was instructed by Balzarini to talk with school administrators and Superintendent Kirk Nicholas to see if they would be able to identify their sought-after dates a year in advance.
The committee also decided that groups should pay rental fees when they reserved space rather than after their events. Nielson suggested that requiring up-front payment would help identify openings for people on waiting lists.
“If they reserve it, they should pay for it,” Nielson said.
The next committee meeting will address fees to rent playing fields at all LUSD schools except Mountain House High School. That meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. May 21 at Wicklund School before the regular school board meeting, which will begin 7 p.m. that night.
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