U-CF board approves facilities use fees for outside groups
● By J. Chambless
By JP Phillips
To amend school policy 707, the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board members approved a new fee schedule for the use of school facilities at their July 15 meeting.
This policy came under review after a hired consultant presented an expansive outdoor facility upgrade proposal last year. Several residents questioned the need for the projects, and the taxpayer cost, and whether or not outside groups were paying their fair share for facilities upkeep based on their usage.
Superintendent John Sanville said that the new fee schedule is more compatible with the relatively new scheduling software adopted in the spring of 2018. According to Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, James Whitesel, a committee will be formed this year to ensure rates charged for facilities are competitive for this area.
Based on his experience working in the West Chester School District, he said that Unionville’s field rates seem right, but the classroom rental rates could be set too high. Changes may be proposed as a result of the committee’s findings.
Based on the new simplified fee schedule, Whitesel estimates that rental revenue could increase by 10 percent, to $44,000, for the top 16 users. These organizations typically account for 75 percent of rental revenue.
Board member Vic Dupuis spoke of the impact of donations made by outside groups that could offset their usage fees.
“We will continue to offer them the opportunity to offset those fees with in-kind contributions of services or goods, as we’ve done in the past,” Dupuis said. For example, the Unionville Recreation Association (URA) donated more than $46,000 in 2018 for new softball and baseball scoreboards.
In other business, the board approved a long list of supplemental positions for the upcoming school year. These positions were mostly for sports coaches and other extracurricular clubs and activities, as well as for department and grade-level chairpersons.