School board reviews policy

Published 9:44 pm Friday, January 4, 2013

A seven-year-old policy came up for discussion at recent meetings of the Beaufort County Board of Education and its Building, Grounds and Finance Committee.
Patrick Abele, executive director for auxiliary services, presented revisions to the committee at its December meeting then shared drafts of the revised policy at the board’s December meeting.
At the committee meeting, board members compared current rental fees to those for facilities at Beaufort County Community College and the Washington Civic Center. The school-system fees, which include the use of tables, chairs and other equipment, were adjusted accordingly.
The revised policy introduced a fee schedule that would apply to all Beaufort County Schools facilities.
With the exception of the summer feeding program, the school system will no longer allow the use of school kitchens by outside organizations. The cost of renting a cafeteria dining room dropped from $250 a day to $50 an hour or $200 a day.
The school system used to charge $50 per day for the use of an athletic field without the use of the lights and $150 to use lights.
The revised policy would charge $100 an hour, or $350 a day, for the use of the field and an additional $30 an hour for athletic-field lighting.
One issue brought up in discussion of the current policy was to ensure that groups were being charged fairly.
The new policy will introduce five categories that determine charges or discounts. Category one covers school-related activities like booster clubs or PTA and will not be charged for use of school facilities.
Category two includes local government nonprofit agencies like law enforcement or Beaufort County Community College, which will not be charged rental fees, but may have to pay custodial fees.
In category three are political parties. These groups will be charged custodial and utility fees.
Nonprofits in category four will be charged rental, custodial and/or supervisory fees. Utility fees may also be charged.
Category covers for-profit use as well as events like weddings and family reunions. The category’s users will be charged rental, utility, custodial and supervisory fees.
The board did not take action on December’s first reading of the proposed revisions. The monthly board meeting will be held Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m.