District 116 has official procedures for facility use
Round Lake Area Unit District 116 now has detailed procedures and guidelines regarding facility rental that includes specifics on charges, supervision and damage responsibility.
Bill Johnston, District 116's assistant superintendent of business and operations, said while the school system has had a building use process in place "for a long time," it never was documented or followed consistently because of what had been frequent turnover in the facilities department.
But the district gained a complete set of guidelines and procedures after board members approved the document at a meeting Monday night.
Under the regulations, a rental fee may be charged to certain organizations or waived for others. District 116 is using an automated online process and not a paper-intensive process that had been difficult to keep organized, Johnston said.
All school-affiliated organizations with District 116's official approval -- ranging from students to alumni to employees -- will have priority for all facilities and won't be charged unless the district incurs costs for custodial overtime.
Taxing agencies such as park districts and villages also will receive free use, provided the use of District 116's facilities is not for fundraising or charge admission fees. Custodial overtime would be charged if necessary.
Community groups charging admission or nonprofits outside of District 116 boundaries will be charged a rental fee and a rate approximating the costs for school personnel to be present while the facilities are used, according to the formal procedure.
"While we are concerned about ensuring that our costs are covered, the main reason for updating the procedures is that they were not properly documented and gray areas existed, so many organizations were not charged a fee that should have been," Johnston said. "By creating an online module and defining the different categories, those community groups that should be charged a fee will see the fee as they attempt to reserve the space online."
Johnston said the district now charges an hourly rate for its facilities because most rentals are not for a day. He said the hourly rates are comparable to area districts.
Round Lake High School's theater and main gymnasium will cost $35 per hour for residents and $45 for nonresidents. To rent the high school football field with lights, it's $82 an hour for residents and $95 for out-of-towners.
Classroom rental is $14 per hour for residents and $20 for nonresidents. A cafeteria with kitchen costs $42 an hour for residents and $55 for nondistrict residents.
Groups are cautioned they'll be responsible for any damage to school facilities beyond typical wear and tear. If the area isn't left neat and in order, a $100 cleaning charge will be assessed to the rental party.
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