Policy KF Community Use of School Facilities
Issued 11/17 Purpose: To establish the basic structure for community use of school facilities.
The board recognizes the capital investment of the community in school property and desires that buildings and other facilities generally be available for use by the community in a manner consistent with the limited public forum created by this policy, the purpose of which is to support and enhance the education and instruction and related services the school district is authorized and/or required to provide under state law and the policies of the board. As a service to the community, the board will allow responsible and properly organized community groups to use school facilities in keeping with the following general policies.
Use of school facilities by the schools and by school-related organizations takes precedence over all other uses. School-related organizations are defined for purposes of this policy as those that are faculty-initiated, faculty-sponsored and directly related to grade-appropriate, state-mandated, academic curriculum standards, as well as (1) formally constituted parent-teacher organizations/associations; (2) school-sponsored honor organizations, such as National Honor Society and Beta Club; and (3) formally constituted music and athletic booster clubs. Additionally, school-related organizations at the middle and high school levels include those that are formally constituted under board policy, student-initiated and student-led, and have a faculty sponsor.
• Requests by local agencies and by other agencies/organizations for the use of facilities for educational purposes take priority over other requests for the use of facilities.
• The board will not rent any building or part thereof to an individual or group for private or corporate gain, except when the activity is considered to be a desired part of the school curriculum and the school does not offer the activity in its curriculum. This would include activities such as music lessons, art lessons, and dance lessons. Both the principal of the school and the superintendent must approve any such use or rental where a profit could be realized.
• The use of a school building, facility, or other school property for any non-school purpose must not interfere with the school program.
• Rental or use of school buildings, facilities, and other property on a continuing basis by natural beneficial outside organizations will be reviewed annually by the superintendent or designee. The superintendent or designee reserves the right to terminate these arrangements at any time.
• Non-school groups may not use school facilities for money-raising events.
• Organizations using school facilities are responsible for the proper conduct of all persons attending the events, for providing police protections if needed, for immediate restoration of school property in the event of any damage, and for all liabilities of all persons in attendance. The district will set forth all terms in a contract that an official representative of the organization must sign.
• A schedule of fees for rentals(s) that take into consideration the purpose of the event is available. Fees will be sufficient to cover operational expenses and cost.
• When school facilities are used by non-school persons, a school employee must be present while the facility is in use. The employee's services will be paid for by the group using the facility.
When non-school organizations/persons use school facilities, a school employee must be present while the facility is in use (at a rate of $25 per hour). The group using the facility will pay for the employee’s services. An example of employee services would be maintenance, food service, and school designee personnel to ensure the proper care and use of facilities. Payments will be made in full in advance (5 days) before facilities are used by lessee. Partial payments will not be accepted. In addition to school employee, a custodian will be present and compensated for by the lessee.
• Non-school groups wishing to use any school kitchen must have members of the kitchen staff from the particular school present. District/school food service employees will be paid for their services by the organization using/renting the facility.
• The administration may establish detailed administrative rules pertaining to public use of school facilities in keeping with the above policies. However, the board will not allow groups to use school facilities if they advocate unconstitutional or illegal acts, or if their activities are contrary to the best interests of the public schools or to the educational welfare of its students.
• The board will not allow groups to use school facilities when the proposed function presents an obvious danger to the safety of persons and property.
• The board directs the administration to seek board approval prior to administrative action in any case of doubt.
• No alcoholic drinks will be sold, distributed, or used on school property at any time by anyone.
Requests for use of school property must be submitted in writing to the school principal on the form provided for this purpose at least two weeks prior to usage, along with a local check or money order (no cash). Requests should state the purpose for which the use is desired, time, date, representative, and organization accepting responsibility for compliance with board policy. Because the use of certain areas by non-school related groups may infringe upon the normal school operations, the school principal or district administration may restrict these areas from use. The principal will give preliminary approval for the request and submit it with a check/money order to the superintendent/designee for final approval. A check/money order should be made out to the Chester County School District
The district will set forth all facilities use terms in a written document that an official representative of the organization/association must sign, regardless of whether the organization/association is assessed a usage fee. The district reserves the right to terminate an agreement should an organization/association fail to fulfill its obligation to the complete satisfaction of the district or school administration.
By making application for use of district/school property, the organization/association using the facility agrees to be responsible for any accidents, losses or injuries, either to property or to persons, and to hold the district harmless in such event, regardless of whether the organization/association is assessed a usage fee. Potential renters will provide copy of insurance at time of application/payment.
The organization/association, by making application, agrees to assume responsibility for the following.
- proper use of facilities, including limiting usage of facilities to the actual areas made available by the district
- supervision and proper conduct during use of facilities, including provision of security, if needed
- prompt payment for damage or breakage
- securing of any permits required by city, town, or the county which may be required for the activity
The applying organization/association is responsible for the observance of all local, state and federal rules and regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, regulations of the police and fire departments and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
When an auditorium is rented, a district or school technician must be present to operate sound and lights. If a mechanical lift is required for auditorium set-up, a district employee trained in the use of the lift must be present to operate the lift. The lift is to be rented by renter. If a gymnasium or stadium is rented and sound is used, a district technician must be present. The occasional unavailability of a qualified district employee may be grounds to deny use of a facility on a specific date or time.
Use of school facilities for private individual parties or celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, or other similar events is prohibited. Funerals or memorial services will be restricted to current full-time students or current full-time employees.
The district prohibits the following activities:
• Promulgation of any theory or doctrine subversive to the laws of the United States or the state of South Carolina.
• Advocating governmental change by violence
• Any activity that is reasonably likely to be injurious to persons, the buildings, grounds, or equipment
• Any unlawful or illegal activity
The board recognizes and respects the employee’s right to personal time off from the job. In view of this, school facilities may not be available for use by rental groups on but not limited to the following days:
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- New Year’s Day
- Other District Holidays
For maintenance purposes, facilities will not be rented anywhere in the school district from the last day of the academic year to the beginning of new academic year.
The board and its authorized representatives will have full and free access to the premises at all times for school-related purposes.
Governmental agencies and bodies will not be charged a fee to use school facilities so long as the use occurs during the scheduled hours the building is open and staffed, the school instructional program is in no way disrupted, and no special custodial service is required.
School facilities may not be used for a public dance.
Appropriate footwear must be worn while using school gymnasiums.
Motorized recreational vehicles (i.e. motorcycles, go-carts, 4-wheelers, scooters, skateboards) may not be used on school grounds.
Organizations that need to bring equipment into school buildings or to erect decorations, lights, or other apparatus on school property must secure approval and make arrangements for the same at the time the application is made. Set-up time will be charged as rental time.
A Chester County School District electrician must approve any electrical connections made to the school(s) existing power source/electrical panels.
The applicant must arrange to remove promptly all of its properties, including lights or other apparatus carried on to school property. This will be done at a time specified by the school administration.
The lessee will assign capable persons to control admission and to report any disturbances to the police department or appropriate agency. The lessee will be responsible for obeying all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and ordinances.
The district will, under no circumstances, be liable for injuries sustained by any person or any property of the lessee. (See Release of Liability Form)
No charges will be assessed for use of facilities by school sanctioned and administrative approved parent-teacher organizations/booster clubs associated with the school district.
In order to avoid delay and unnecessary correspondence, applicants are advised to check with the school administration concerning availability of the facility on the date desired. Approval is not final until an application is signed by the superintendent (or designee) and returned to the applicant.
The school administration (or designee) will be responsible to check all requested use areas for proper HVAC, lighting and cleanliness prior to each event.
The number of custodians needed to ensure that district facilities are cleaned after the event will be based on the anticipated attendance of that event and cleaning requirements.
Custodial staff will make a constant vigilance to ensure all use areas are kept clean and sanitary. Examples may include keeping needed paper products, soap, etc., supplied in restrooms. Also, custodial staff will be available when assistance is needed.
Time Restraints: Evening affairs are to end by 11:00 p.m. unless special arrangements have been made. Complete vacating of the facilities is to be made according to the terms of the contract. Facility preparation and departure time will be included in the use hours applied for. Any additional time for set-up, preparation, or extended exhibit hours will be charged at prevailing rates for extra personnel services and space uses.
Opening and closing of school buildings for public use will be the responsibility of the school administrator (or designee). Also, ensuring that all building entrance/exits are left secured and the security system is properly alarmed upon leaving school premises.
An emergency call list from the district’s maintenance office will be made available to use in the event securing the building is not possible due to system failure (security-fire alarm system) or other building/ground emergencies occur. The person’s assigned to work each event at their school must have emergency call list names and cell/home phone numbers.
Adopted 3/7/87; Revised 10/28/02, 5/20/13, 11/20/17
Chester County Schools