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District postpones facility rental fee increase

April 22, 2009

The Oak Creek-Franklin School District is postponing plans to increase its facility rental fees by 20 percent next school year.

The School Board initially was poised to consider the measure April 20, but Business Manager Cathy Cramer said no action will be taken until the district has more information on state aid.

The district likely will not receive its 2009-10 state aid estimate until July 1.

Existing hourly fees on weekdays range from $10 to $70 for classroom rentals, $15 to $140 for gym/cafeteria rentals at the elementary and middle schools, and $30 to $225 for gym/cafeteria rentals at the high school.

Hourly rates on the weekend are $15 to $100 for classrooms, $21.67 to $200 for gym/cafeteria rentals at the elementary and middle schools, and $45 to $325 for gym/cafeteria rentals at the high school.

Rates vary based on the group renting the space. Fees are lowest for local youth and community nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations that are not youth-related or have the majority of the group outside of the district pay slightly higher rates, and businesses and for-profit organizations pay the highest rates.

Groups affiliated with schools, such as parent-teacher organizations or Boy or Girl Scouts, do not have to pay to use facilities, Cramer said.

To help alleviate concerns, Superintendent Sara Larson said, the district has been communicating with parents, many of whom had initially been misinformed about potential increases.

"The rental is for the program, not for individuals or teams," she explained.

Besides the Oak Creek Park and Recreation Department, which does not have to pay for facility use due to a services exchange agreement with the district, the top users so far this year have been the Oak Creek Soccer Club, St. Matthews Church, Oak Creek boys and girls youth basketball programs, and Oak Creek Little League.

Based on actual and scheduled usage so far this school year, the largest impact would be to the soccer club, which paid $4,725 for 315 hours worth of facility usage. Under increased rates, they would have paid $5,670.

The fees were last increased in 2006. Since then, electric and gas costs have increased by about 30 to 50 percent.

Julie Becker can be reached at (262) 446-6606.

BY THE NUMBERS

13

community youth and nonprofit organizations that have rented facilities so far this school year (excluding the Park and Recreation Department)

$15

hourly rate paid by those groups in most cases

1,197

total hours of use so far this year, approximately

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