For the past several months the Morgan County Board of Education has been focused on creating a new facility use policy for district buildings and grounds. In the process the Board looked at a number of similar policies throughout the state as a basis for their plan.
The process was necessary due to increased demands on school facilities ranging from county recreation programs to for-profit commercial enterprises. District buildings and grounds are by law civic centers and may be used by district residents for supervised recreational activities and meetings. (Utah Code Unannotated 53A-3-413). However, use of district property for civic center purposes shall not interfere with any school function or purpose (Utah Code Unannotated 53A-3-413).
The policy outlines the priority of rental availability as follows:
• district sponsored programs
• after school and extracurricular programs
• public sponsored institutions of learning
• inter-local agreement with county recreation programs
• charitable and non-commercial
• competition teams and other competitive groups
District sponsored programs such as regional competitions hosted by the district, athletic team practice times, and choir/band concerts always have first priority and will supersede other facility use agreements.
In establishing a fee schedule the Board looked carefully at costs to the district including utilities, custodial services, supervision and general wear and tear. Programs which have a direct educational benefit to students such as after school programs and programs sponsored by other public supported institutions will see limited or no fees dependent on the time of day and if custodial services are already being provided during the time of use.
Inter-local agreements with county recreation programs will not be charged a fee. Charitable and non-commercial rates apply to community organizations, service clubs and other groups wanting use of district facilities. However, the principal or principal’s designee may grant limited free use to public service organizations who perform strictly public services when custodial and other services are not required beyond the regularly scheduled duty and when
[a] no school funds are used to subsidize the events.
[b] the request is for occasional use only.
[c] the use has no commercial purpose.
If there are actual costs for the district facility associated with a charitable and non-commercial use, those actual costs are subject to rates outlined in the Facility Use Fee Schedule. Family gatherings, class reunions, and similar groups will be subject to rates as outlined in the Facility Use Fee Schedule.
Competition teams and other competitive groups such as basketball leagues and soccer teams not under the umbrella of district inter-local agreements will be subject to rates as outlined in the Facility Use Fee Schedule. Such teams will be required to demonstrate that they are covered by liability insurance through their sponsoring organization such as AAU or AYSO.
Commercial rates apply to an activity whose motive is to make a profit, provide financial gain, or promote a for-profit enterprise. The superintendent, in consultation with building administrator, will determine if an activity should be classified as commercial.
The district reserves the right to negotiate long term lease agreements with groups or individuals wherein the agreement will serve the best interest of the district. Such agreement must be approved by the superintendent and/or board.
In most situations the building principal will have discretion over the rentals of their facilities. They will use this policy as a guideline in determining usage classification and if fees and other usage costs will be required of the lessee.
In approving the policy the Board took action to review its progress and implementation in March of 2012. If it is found adjustments need to be made in the best interests of the district and public, it will take place prior to the beginning of the next school year.
It is the intent of the Board to protect the interests of the school – Including liability issues, provide the public with reasonable access to these civic centers and covering the actual costs of use on behalf of the taxpayers of the county.
The entire policy can be found on the district’s website at http://www.morgan.k12.ut.us/