5000 - Community Relationships

5030 Community Use Of Facilities

 


5030 COMMUNITY USE OF FACILITIES

A. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

The Pender County Board of Education endorses the goals of the Community Schools Act. The use of school facilities by individuals, community groups, agencies and organizations should be consistent with the education program and the goals and objectives of the board and school system.

 

Priority for facility use will be given in accordance with law and as outlined below.

 

Use of school facilities will not be approved for activities that do any of the following:

 

1. violate federal, state or local laws;

2. violate board of education policies or regulations;

3. advocate imminent violence;

4. damage or have the potential to damage school buildings, grounds or equipment;

5. are in conflict with scheduled school activities; or

6. are unsafe or have the potential to create an unsafe situation.

 

B. PRIORITY IN USE/FEE STRUCTURE

School-sponsored groups and activities (such as school athletic events and school drama and choral productions) and meetings of student organizations, including organizations permitted to meet under the Equal Access Act, will have first priority in the use of school facilities.

 

Priority in the use of school facilities by other individuals, groups, agencies and organizations and the fee structure for such use will be in accordance with law and the following user categories.  Priority in use among users within the same user category will not be based upon the viewpoints of the groups (see policy 1710/4021/7230, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying). All users within the same user category will be charged for facility use according to the uniform fee structure, unless otherwise stated herein.

 

1. School-related groups (organizations formed to support the school in some manner, such as the PTA, PTO, teachers’ and principals’ organizations, and booster clubs)

 

2. Second priority in use will be Pender County Parks and Recreation and its nonprofit Recreation Partner organizations in order to afford recreational opportunities to citizens and community youth.

 

3. In accordance with G.S. 115C-527, political parties for the express purpose of annual or biennial precinct meetings and county and district conventions

 

4. Pender County local government; local government agencies; local municipalities and, for the express purpose of addressing issues specifically affecting Pender County Residents, State or Federal agencies or non-Pender County government agencies

 

5. All other non-profit groups, agencies and organizations (all non-profits not included in the other categories as well as political parties when meeting for purposes other than precinct meetings or county or district conventions, including religious groups, youth groups, youth sports leagues, adult sports groups and miscellaneous non-profit use by families and charities)

 

6. For-profit corporations, organizations or groups that provide recreational, athletic, academic, educational or artistic activities primarily for students in the Pender County Schools (examples include beauty contests, dance recitals, coaches’ camps, tennis lessons, etc.). For-profit concerts are not allowed.

 

Individuals may have the nonexclusive use of outdoor school facilities at their own risk during non-school hours, such as playgrounds, tracks, athletic fields, parking lots and tennis courts, at times when they are not being used by the school system or by the school or a group which has been given permission to use pursuant to this policy and as long as such facilities have been designated by the superintendent for community use. Such individuals must share the facilities with other individuals wishing to use them at the same time. Individuals who are participating in activities with others are considered to be part of a group and must enter into a facility use agreement with the Pender County Schools prior to use.

 

Prior to the beginning of each school year, the superintendent shall submit for board approval a fee structure that lists the amount or method of calculating rent and fees to be charged for facility use.

 

C. REQUESTS FOR USE OF FACILITIES

School facilities may not be used for fundraising activities unless said activities are school-sponsored, or unless the fundraising is by a non-profit entity. All funds collected from school-sponsored events will be receipted and processed through the sponsoring school’s general fund using acceptable accounting procedures.

 

Each school reserves the right to provide/operate concessions. Items of food and drink may be sold or distributed on school premises by non-profit users but are not permitted in school gymnasiums or multi-purpose rooms. Non-profit users may charge reasonable admission fees to events to cover actual documented costs of the event.

 

Groups other than school-related groups are limited to two special events per school year, unless approved by the Pender County Board of Education.

 

Recreational use of gymnasiums will be limited to groups and activities serving youth in grades PK-13 or adult recreational events sponsored by Pender County Parks and Recreation.

 

All users, except individuals using outdoor facilities for their individual use, must apply for permission to use the facilities or execute a facilities use agreement with the Pender County Schools on a form approved by the superintendent and board attorney. Two weeks’ notice is required for all facility requests, unless there are extenuating circumstances (funerals, emergency shelters, etc.) in which two weeks’ notice would not be possible. The superintendent or designee may enter into such agreements subject to the restrictions in section G below.

 

School facilities may not be used for dances except those sponsored by a school.

 

D. FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR USE

The board permits eligible users to use the facilities of those schools designated by the board as “community schools.” All schools are community schools and the facilities at each site that are available for community use will be available to the public at the superintendent’s office, each principal’s office and on the Pender County Schools website.

 

The superintendent is authorized to develop a list of which school facilities are available for community use. In general, school facilities, such as specifically equipped classrooms, libraries, storage rooms and administrative offices, which contain certain equipment or confidential records, will not be available for community use. Among the types of facilities that may be available for community use are auditoriums, athletic fields, dining areas, kitchens, designated classrooms, gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, and playgrounds.

 

E. RULES GOVERNING USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

The superintendent shall develop regulations consistent with this policy. The regulations will include an application process and provisions regarding supervision of groups using facilities, care of facilities, prohibited conduct and other issues deemed appropriate by the superintendent. A copy of the regulations will be furnished to all applicants at the time they receive the facilities use application form. In addition to the regulations established by the superintendent, users of school facilities must comply with the following rules:

 

1. Users must comply with all federal, state and local laws and all rules established by the board, the superintendent or designee, and the principal.

 

2. Users must comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (particularly Subchapter III pertaining to Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities) and the federal regulations that have been adopted for the implementation of the ADA.

 

3. Users must comply with board policy and legal requirements forbidding the use of tobacco products in school facilities and on school grounds (see policy 5026/7250, Smoking and Tobacco Products).

 

4. Users must not consume or possess alcohol or drugs on school grounds (see policy 5025, Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverages).

 

5. Users must not possess weapons or explosives while on school grounds (see policy 5027/7275, Weapons and Explosives Prohibited).

 

6. Users are responsible for supervising their activity and the people present at their activity. Users are responsible for maintaining order and safety during the activity.

 

7. With the exception of Pender County Parks and Recreation and its recreation partners, advertisement for events taking place in school facilities cannot be placed on Pender County Schools property during school hours, school functions, or school-supervised programs. All signage must be removed immediately following the event.

 

8. No modifications, improvements or alterations may be made to Pender County Schools property without prior written approval of Superintendent or designee.

 

9. Access to the School Board’s computers, servers and systems is prohibited.

 

10. At the end of each individual use of school facilities, the user must restore the facilities back to their original condition and, thus, remove all event materials and disassemble any additional equipment and restore school equipment to its original place.  Any request by a user to store materials, equipment, or supplies or to keep equipment in place without disassembling it must receive prior approval by the Superintendent or designee, who shall consult with the principal.  The Board of Education will not be liable for equipment, materials, or supplies left or stored on a school campus.

 

11. Users shall not receive keys or security codes to school facilities.

 

A user’s violation of the provisions of this policy or any applicable regulations or a substantial threat of an unsafe condition will be grounds for the suspension of the user’s privilege to use school facilities for a period of six months, one year, or permanently, as deemed appropriate by the superintendent or designee.

 

The Board of Education may terminate any lease upon five days’ notice in the event of damage to school facilities or violation of policies, rules, or the use agreement.  In extreme circumstances, the Superintendent may immediately terminate any lease or use.

 

F. INDEMNITY, DAMAGES AND LIABILITY INSURANCE

Users of school facilities are responsible for all damage to school facilities, property or equipment that occurs while the facility is being used by the user, regardless of who caused the damage. Users also are responsible for the conduct of all persons involved in the users’ activities while on school system property.

 

All user groups, except school-sponsored groups and individual users, must furnish a certificate of insurance for general liability coverage by an insurance company licensed in the State of North Carolina and in a form reasonably satisfactory to the superintendent or designee with a total limit coverage of $1,000,000 for each claim made with the School Board named as an additional insured, as a condition precedent to any user agreement.

 

Users asking to use Pender County Schools’ facilities accept such facilities “as-is” and release the Pender County Board of Education, its board members, agents and employees of and from any and all claims, demands, damages and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature arising out of such use to the fullest extent allowed by law.

 

Users using Pender County Schools’ facilities shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Pender County Board of Education, its board members, agents and employees of and from all claims, demands, damages and causes of action asserted by any and all persons and entities of whatsoever kind and nature, arising out of such use, to the fullest extent allowed by law. This indemnity provision shall not apply to claims or damages caused solely by the intentional, reckless or negligent conduct or omissions of the Pender County Board of Education, its agents or employees.

 

G. TERM AND ACCEPTANCE OF LEASE

The superintendent is authorized to enter into agreements with users for the use of school property for terms of six months or less. All such leases must be reviewed and approved in advance by the board attorney.The superintendent shall inform the board of the execution of any lease at its next regularly scheduled meeting.  

 

Unless otherwise approved by the Board (as set forth below), there is a six-month limit on all community use of facilities with the exception of Pender Parks and Recreation and its nonprofit Recreation Partner organizations.  With the exception of Pender Parks and Recreation and its nonprofit Recreation Partners organizations, leases can be renewed only if no other potential users have requested access to the school facility.  Requests by a single user to rent multiple facilities at one or more campuses simultaneously will be allowed. Facilities are available on a first come, first served basis with rental calendar availability up to six months in advance, allowing for equitable access to school facilities to all individuals and organizations. A long-term lessee may reserve facilities for a period of up to six months and may request to renew the lease 30 days prior to the end of the lease agreement.  A single-event user may submit a request for facilities more than six months in advance of the event, however it will not be approved until six months prior to the event.

 

Absent unusual circumstances, uses will not be granted for a term longer than six months. A use for more than six months must be approved in advance by the board.

 

H. RIGHT TO DENY USE

The Pender County Board of Education reserves the right to deny use of or revoke a previously granted right to use public school buildings and property for use which that by nature, type of performance, equipment, or personnel may result in overcrowding, lack of crowd control, fire hazards, criminal violations or damage or overuse (wear and tear, field conditions or maintenance, necessitate additional maintenance, etc.) to buildings or property.

 

I. REVIEW OF DECISIONS CONCERNING USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

Any person or organization may request a review of any decision made by a school employee pursuant to this policy in accordance with the procedures in policy 1740/4010, Student and Parent Grievance Procedure.

 

Legal References:

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 4071-4074, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36; Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 C.F.R. pt. 108; Community Schools Act, N.C.G.S. 115C-203 to -209.1, -524, -527; N.C.G.S. §163-129; First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

 

Cross References:

Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy 1710/4021/7230), Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010), Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverages (policy 5025), Smoking and Tobacco Products (policy 5026/7250), Weapons and Explosives Prohibited (policy 5027/7275), Gifts and Bequests (policy 8220)

 

Adopted:

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Last Updated: 

January 9, 2018

Legal References:
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 4071-4074, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36; Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 C.F.R. pt. 108; Community Schools Act, G.S. 115C-203 to -209.1, -524, -527
Cross References:
Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying (policy 1710/4021/7230), Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010), Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverages (policy 5025), Smoking and Tobacco Products (policy 5026/7250), Weapons and Explosives Prohibited (policy 5027/7275)
Adopted:
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Last Updated:
Tuesday, 09 January 2018