Anglophone South hiking fees for renting school facilities

The Anglophone South School District is preparing to hike fees for sports teams and organizations that rent the district's facilities.

School district will hike school facilities fees for some teams and organizations by as much as 50%

Fees for adult groups that rent school facilities will increase to $50 from $25 per hour. (Facebook)

The Anglophone South School District is preparing to hike fees for sports teams and organizations that rent the district's facilities.

When sports teams, organizations and the general public use school gyms or theatres, they usually only have to pay a small fee or make a donation to the school.

Zoe Watson, the superintendent of the Anglophone South School District, said half of the money raised through the rentals will go directly to the schools. The other half goes to the district's budget for minor repairs.

Zoë Watson, the superintendent of the Anglophone South School District, said administrators must decide by 6:30 a.m. on storm days about cancelling school. (CBC)
Watson said the new fees are in line with the Anglophone East and Anglophone West school districts. She said administrators also compared the new rates to school districts in Nova Scotia.

Watson said the group in charge of setting the new fee structure worked hard to make sure the rates did not deviate from what other districts are charging.

"We don't want to have our fees too high, we want to be line with certainly what the other anglophone school districts are," she said.

Fees for all adult groups, and for-profit youth organizations renting a small gym will increase to $25 from $15 per hour. A large gym rental will cost them $50 from $25 per hour, and a small theatre rental will cost $100 from $75 per hour.

Non-profit groups and youth groups are still not required to pay rent, however they will need to provide a charity number or a sports association number when booking their events.

"The important piece here, our priority is for the youth and the not-for-profit groups," Watson said.

"The fees they have been paying are the fees that will remain through the balance of the school year, but we are trying to get the groups registered [now] on our online booking system."

Instead of arranging rentals through schools, groups will soon have to book their programs through an online system on the school district's website.

Anglophone School District South Superintendent, Zoe Watson tells us about school facilities fees and the new way of booking the school gym or theatre you want to use. 9:05

"Principals and school administrative assistants spent a considerable amount of time with the booking … now there's a link that allows people to go and see what parts of the buildings can be rented and they fill out online paperwork for those rentals," Watson said.

All groups will be also required to pay a $20 per hour custodial fee for weekend rentals.

"We have a lot of groups with keys to the school and codes to get into the buildings," Watson said.

"Now we are asking that there be a custodian on site to open the building and secure the building, and be there for cleanup that has to happen as the result of the rental."

Ball field fees may be on rise

Earlier this week Saint John council put off a plan to sharply increase the rental fees for baseball and softball diamonds after a loud public outcry.

Angry team officials went to Monday's city council meeting to state their opposition to the plan.

Joe Meunier, the president of Saint John Little League, said he estimates that 10 per cent of Little League players would no longer be able to afford to play if the 200 per cent fee increase was approved.

Under the proposal, fees for adults in the class A fields would increase to $40.96 from $25.60 per hour.

For youth, this fee could go to $20.70 from $9 per hour. For the class B fields, youth are looking at an increase to $7.50 from $2.50.

Those proposed fees would be the highest in the Maritimes, four times more than both Fredericton and Moncton.

City council held off on approving the increase and referred the proposal back to the city manager for further review.


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