LUSD committee sets groundwork for facilities use in Mountain House
by Michael Langley
Apr 24, 2014 | 4244 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The last time Lammersville Unified School District set the policy for public use of its schools and fields was in 2008. Now, the four members of a newly formed Facilities Use Committee are trying to figure out how to make six years of changes before Mountain House High School opens in the fall.

“I really would like to see, from my perspective, something that everyone can rely upon before the high school opens,” Shane Nielsen, committee member and LUSD board member, said during the first meeting of the committee Friday.

Committee chairman Matthew Balzarini said that a growing number of Mountain House groups need space.

“The community has limited facilities for use with athletics and recreation activities,” Balzarini said. “The school district has the only facilities in the community. So everyone is trying to use our facilities for everything, all the time.”

The committee chairman said the Mountain House Community Services District should help meet the demand.

“The community needs to start providing facilities for people to use. It’s not the schools’ responsibility,” Balzarini said.

He added that the issue, which includes how campuses can be used and how much the district should charge, is so massive that the committee will have to work on smaller issues, one at a time.

“My goal is: break it down in smaller parts where we can have specific items that we discuss and resolve,” he said.

Marvin Muela, business manager for Mountain’s Hope Community Worship Center, which uses the schools to hold church services, was the only member of the public to attend the meeting. Muela said the church members were pleased with the church’s seven-year relationship with the school district.

“Eventually, we want to build here in Mountain House. But that’s still down the road a ways. Until then, we have to rely upon the school district,” Muela said. “It was interesting hear the fees have been held constant for quite some time. Of course, it looks like that’s going to be changing.”

Balzarini said that the policy set six years ago fit the community then, but it has been enacted differently at the schools.

“These facilities belong to us, the school district,” he said. “Those campuses are not those principals’. They belong to the taxpayers, and we have an obligation as a district to have a consistent, fair process. And that’s what we are going to do.”

The committee members used the 90-minute first meeting to lay down some goals and define the types of ways the public could use the schools and a potential new fee structure. Nielsen wanted to make sure that any for-profit athletic teams that wouldn’t necessarily serve Mountain House children would be charged more than local leagues.

“When it steps away from the vast majority of the community, with restricted access based on competitive levels, they’re charging more fees as well for that participation. I think we should charge them more fees,” he said.

Nielsen added that his goal was to charge only what was needed to maintain the schools.

“We are not making a profit off this. This is to make sure our facilities are pristine for our students. Because that’s who we serve,” Nielsen said. “At 8:05 Monday morning, the kids should not know anything happened in their facilities during the weekend. It should be ready for them to learn, because that’s our job.”

The committee, which only advises the full school board, set dates for the next four meetings, with loose agendas for three.

On May 7, the committee members will talk about elementary school facilities. On May 21, members will discuss playing fields at all campuses except Mountain House High School. On June 4, the committee will consider just the high school fields and facilities. Those meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the LUSD board room, 111 S. De Anza Blvd., and will precede the regular meetings of the LUSD board.

A meeting June 11 will also begin at 5:30 p.m. but will not be followed by a board meeting. The agenda was not decided.

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at mlangley@tracypress.com or 830-4231.

 
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