Facility-use controversy decreases when AD meets with affected partiesFollowing some criticism of a revised facility-use policy, Mitchell High School Activities Director Geoff Gross has met with affected parties to clarify the policy’s intent.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
Following some criticism of a revised facility-use policy, Mitchell High School Activities Director Geoff Gross has met with affected parties to clarify the policy’s intent.
“There were some misunderstandings about who would be charged,” Superintendent Joe Graves said, adding that it’s not the intent of the district to keep people out of the facilities.
Gross held a meeting Sept. 27 regarding the use of district facilities.
“Some people contacted me with questions about the policy,” Gross said. “We met and wanted to get their input.”
No further revisions are planned for the policy, and Gross said he wanted to get the facts out through the meeting. The Daily Republic contacted school board member Theresa Kriese, who offered no comment on the issue. Board member Brenda Freidel did not respond to The Daily Republic’s attempts to contact her.
The meeting clarified who has to rent a facility. If a club coach wants to use the facility with a team, the rental fee will be charged. Gross defined a club team as any team that is not a school district team.
The policy lists “youth club sports” as a user and sets a fee for users of that type. Gross said, however, that if the club coach advertises that the practice is open to all students who meet certain criteria — all sixth-grade boys, for example — the fee will be waived. In such a case, that’s considered an open gym and not a private practice.
Pat Soukup, who coaches a sixth grade boys’ basketball team, was at the meeting and said Gross cleared up the confusion.
“I think there were some people abusing the open gym policy,” Soukup said. “The policy has always been there and it wasn’t enforced. The meeting definitely cleared everything up. It’s pretty much cut and dry.”
The policy states, in part, that “The Board of Education endorses the philosophy that school buildings and facilities should be available for public use, while also recognizing the public’s expectation that the Board will ensure the appropriate care and management of said facilities to accommodate public use as well as adequately accomplish the basic purposes of school facilities.”
The policy goes on to list classifications of users and fees for each classification. The phrase “youth club sports” was previously not included in the policy but has been added to one of the classifications for which a fee is applicable.
The policy allowing free use of many facilities for district employees, including many gyms, was narrowed to allow use of only the facilities where an employee works.