School facilities are provided by the public and should be made available to the community for non-commercial uses when practical and such use does not conflict with the operations of the district. District-sponsored activities, including curricular and co-curricular functions, retain first priority in use of facilities. Authorization for use of school facilities will not be considered as endorsement or approval of the activity, group or organization.

The public will be expected to reimburse the district for such use to ensure that funds intended for education are not used for other purposes. The superintendent is authorized to establish procedures for use of school facilities, including rental rates, supervisory requirements, restrictions, and security.

All users of District facilities must accept financial responsibility for any damage and must comply with the policies of the Board of Directors and the regulations established by the school administration. Those using school facilities shall provide evidence of insurance for accidents and liability covering persons using the District’s facilities. (Policy No. 4260)

For more information contact Lindsay Ahrens at 676-6500 or Lindsay.Ahrens@bellinghamschools.org

The school district and City of Bellingham have an interlocal agreement that governs community use of school gymnasiums and fields. To book one of the school gyms or fields, please contact City of Bellingham Parks and Rec at 778-7000.

 

Community Use of School Facilities

It is the aim of the school board to make school facilities available for community use.  Usage must be in the public interest and for the public good.  Organizations and groups using school district facilities agree to abide by the following rules:

  1. Application – An “Application for Rental of School Facilities” is to be submitted to the District Business & Operations Office a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the date on which the facilities are to be used.  A copy of the approved application is to be on file in the building prior to the scheduled activity.
  2. Approval  – Each application for the use of school facilities is approved by the building administrator and the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations or designee.
  3. Access – Applications are approved for specific rooms/facilities and times.  Buildings or other school facilities are opened by the responsible custodian only upon the presentation of an approved application.  The user organization is responsible for ensuring that unauthorized portions of the building are not entered and the premises are vacated as scheduled.
  4. Cancellations – All cancellations must be made through the Business and Operations Office at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled usage or the user organization may be billed for the entire rental fee or the actual costs incurred by the District.
  5. Athletic/Playing Fields – Any organized group wishing to use District athletic or playing fields must file an application in accordance with established District procedures.  Any such use must be appropriate and compatible with the field and its surrounding area.  Unauthorized use of District fields by organized groups constitutes trespassing and will be dealt with accordingly.  Casual use of fields by members of the community on an individual basis is permitted as long as those uses do not endanger others or cause damage to fields and lawns.  User groups may not mark or otherwise modify fields without written District approval.
  6. Fees – The Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations determines and recommends a fee schedule for use of District facilities.  The fee schedule is reviewed and revised as appropriate.
  7. Payment – Payment is to be made to the District Business and Operations Office in advance unless other arrangements are made at the time of application.  If other arrangements are made, payment will be due in full within 30 days of billing date.
  8. Additional Charges – Charges may be levied to cover the cost of additional services not covered in the original agreement, such as custodial overtime.  If the rental occurs outside of normal custodial staffing hours, overtime will be based on actual utilization with a minimum of 2 hours.  Additional charges may also be levied for damages and/or agreement violations.
  9. District Staffing – A custodian or other authorized District employee must be on the premises during any use of a District facility by a non-school group.
  10. Custodial Service – Custodial services are restricted to unlocking and locking doors, operating lights, providing heat, setting up chairs, and performing routine cleanup.   Groups for which rental costs and/or other charges are waived in part or in full, must assist the custodian in setting up and revolving chairs in performing routine cleanup.
  11. Food Service – If kitchen facilities are used to prepare a meal (using District cooking and dish-washing equipment, ranges, etc.), a regular food service employee must be in attendance with actual wages and benefits charged to the user organization.
  12. Priority Use – District or school organization activities have first preference for all District facilities.  Non-school applications are     superseded in any instance where facilities are needed for school activities
  13. Prejudicial Use – Permits will not be granted for any meetings, which in the judgment of the District, may be prejudicial to the best interests of the schools or educational system or for which satisfactory sponsorship is not provided.  All permits are revocable and are not considered as a lease.
  14. Cancellation by District – It is understood and agreed by the applicant that permission may be revoked or canceled at any time with or without cause and in the event of such revocation or cancellation, there shall be no claim or right to damages or reimbursement on account of any loss, damage, or expense incurred.
  15. Indemnification and Hold Harmless Provision – The user agrees to protect, indemnify, and hold harmless the District, its elected and appointed officials, employees, agents, and staff from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, expenses, or rights of action, directly or indirectly attributable to the User’s activities and/or use of premises in connection with this agreement.
  16. General Liability – The minimum requirement is $1 million for a group to rent/use District facilities but may be increased if exposure is determined excessive.
  17. Supervision – User organizations must provide sufficient, qualified adult supervision for any scheduled youth activity.
  18. Decorations and Alterations – Plans for decorating must be approved in advance by the building or program administrator.  Applicants are required to remove materials, equipment, furnishings, or litter after use of school facilities.  No sign shall be placed on the outside of school buildings.
  19. Restoration of Facilities – All school facilities are to be left in appropriate condition immediately following each activity.  Appropriate athletic shoes will be required for all indoor athletic activities.
  20. Purpose – Purpose of use must be as stated on the application; deviation will be considered a breach of contract and may result in denial of future use.
  21. Smoking, Drinking, Disorderly Conduct – Smoking is not permitted in school buildings or on school grounds.  No alcoholic beverages are to be brought or consumed in a school building or on school grounds.  Disorderly conduct and willful destruction of property are forbidden.  Violators will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.  It is unlawful for a person to carry onto public school premises any firearm or other dangerous weapon as defined by law.
  22. Prohibited Organizations – Organizations which advocate the violent overthrow of the government or its institutions or violations of its laws, or which promote any form of discrimination are excluded from utilizing District facilities. Facilities are restricted to use by groups or organizations and not by individuals.
  23. User Organization Responsibility – The user organization is responsible for the enforcement of the above regulations and is responsible for all participants, spectators, and affiliated personnel.

 

Rental Rates

For rental rate purposes, organizations seeking the use of school facilities have been divided into three categories.  It shall be the decision of the Finance and Operations office to determine which rate schedule applies to any particular group. The following serves as a guideline and fees below may be modified based on duration of use, excessive wear and tear, revenue associated with use, etc.:

Category 1: School or Child Related Groups:

School or child-related groups include those organizations whose main purpose is to promote the welfare of students. Examples are local groups such as Scouts, Campfire, PTA, and 4-H. Generally, there is no facility use charge for these groups other than when the district incurs extra utility, custodial, or supervision costs due to use outside of regular school hours. Students must attend Bellingham Schools and adult sponsorship and supervision is required.

Category 2: Nonprofit Groups or Governmental Agencies:

Nonprofit groups and organizations or governmental agencies may use school facilities for lectures, promotional activities, rallies, entertainment, courses, or other similar activities. Nonprofit groups must provide evidence of nonprofit status.

Category 3: Commercial Enterprises

District facilities are not available for use by commercial enterprises including for-profit organizations and business-related enterprises, as there are commercial or private facilities available in the community for such use.

 

Facility Category 1 Fees Category 2 Fees
Classrooms and Meeting Rooms No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required. $5.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Computer Labs/Classrooms

Use of district computers is limited and requires a separate Tech Use Addendum and fees

No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required. $10.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Home Ec/Band/Orchestra Rooms No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $7.50/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
District Board Room No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $10.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Cafeteria

(without kitchen)

No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $10.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Kitchen

(cafeteria or commons space charged separately)

A district Food Services employee is required to be on duty for all activities involving kitchen use for events such as banquets, dinners, carnivals, festivals, bazaars, or other special events requiring kitchen facilities. Kitchens shall not be entered by any group during the instructional school day. (Procedure 4260P)

No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required; Food Service staff fees. $20.00/hr plus Food Service staff, custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Gym No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $15.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Locker Rooms No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $2.50/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Weight Rooms No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $5.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Commons No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required Middle School:

$10.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.

 

High School:

$20.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.

Sehome High School Cafetorium No facility use fees; Extra custodial, utilities, or supervision as required $20.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.
Squalicum High School Forum Full forum:

$30.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required. Per event – $750 bleacher set up fee.

 

Lower forum:

$20.00/hr plus custodial, utilities, or supervision as required.

Bellingham High School Theatre Please contact Finance and Operations for theatre technical personnel rates The theatre space is $125/hr and requires technical personnel.

Please contact Finance and Operations for related theatre technical personnel rates