COMMUNITY USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES
NEPN/NSBA Code: KF
I. Use of School Facilities
The Yarmouth School Committee recognizes the capital investment the community has in school facilities and encourages extensive use of school facilities for civic, educational, recreational or charitable purposes consistent with the mission and core values of the Yarmouth schools. The Yarmouth School Department retains the exclusive right to make decisions regarding schedule changes and the acceptance, refusal or withdrawal of permission for use of all facilities as well as the right to approve, in advance, items to be sold, given away, exhibited or displayed. Non-school related activities taking place at school facilities shall not interfere with the conduct of school programs or the best interest of the school department and shall be appropriate for the facility requested. Additional guidelines for the use of the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center and outdoor athletic facilities are specified in KF-R.
II. Priorities for Use
Groups that use school facilities are characterized as follows, organized from highest to lowest priority.
Yarmouth schools and their associated, School Committee sanctioned programs
Yarmouth Community Services programs
School-related organizations, such as booster groups or parent-teacher associations
Yarmouth based non-profit organizations. Such groups are considered town-based if greater than 80% of its members are Yarmouth residents.
Community youth groups
Community adult groups
Yarmouth-based organizations that support the arts
Non-Yarmouth-based non-profit groups
Commercial, profit-making activities
III. Availability of Facilities and Scheduling
Approval and scheduling of events will be accomplished through the office of the appropriate building principal and Community Services.
Use of the school facilities will be no later than 11:00 p.m. unless special arrangements are made.
Application will be submitted a minimum of two weeks in advance.
A master schedule of all events scheduled in all the school facilities will be maintained by Community Services and made available to Yarmouth School Department administrators.
IV. Use of Facilities for School-Sponsored Activities
The use of any facility by a school activity or directly related school activity is dependent upon faculty advisorship. Each activity shall have a faculty advisor present and in attendance during all building/facility uses. The advisor is responsible for preserving order and compliance with the provisions for building use as outlined below. This advisor shall be responsible for controlling and restricting entry and exit to one entrance during rehearsals and other activities. The advisor shall provide for unlocking and locking of doors as necessary. The participants shall be required by the advisor to remain in the immediate area for which he/she has received prior permission to use.
Athletic events and extracurricular activities shall be planned, executed and controlled by the appropriate principal, athletic director and coaches.
Use of the auditorium, music room, cafetorium, kitchen, library, computer labs, and athletic fields/gym facilities shall be planned, executed and controlled by the appropriate principal , athletic director, or departmental staff members.
V. Use of Facilities for All Other Groups
Applicants will be billed by the Superintendent’s Office at the appropriate rate. Payment of charges will be forwarded promptly after receipt of the billings, in any case no later than ten days.
A minimum of one week advance notice shall be given for any special equipment required.
Approved school personnel shall supervise or control all electrical arrangements and use of equipment.
A member of the technology staff shall be consulted to determine the need for technology.
Applicant is responsible for preserving order and shall detail in advance supervisory plans for school authorities, who retain final authority. Police security will be provided at the lessee’s expense when required by the school administration and/or by state/local regulations.
A staff member must be present during the entire time the facilities are in use. No keys will be provided; instead, buildings must be secured and opened by a staff member. If the facility is being used during a time when no such staff is present, the applicant will assume all expenses related to the costs of having staff present.
A member of the kitchen staff will be on duty if kitchen facilities are requested.
No smoking will be permitted in school buildings or on school grounds.
No alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs may be brought to or consumed in school buildings or on school grounds.
Gambling on school or community property is prohibited unless allowed as an approved, legal, fund-raiser (i.e. casino nights, fifty-fifty raffles and bingo) for school or community booster groups. Such activities must be approved by the building principal (or his/her designee) or athletic director.
The use of weapons, open flames or other incendiary special effects is prohibited at all facilities unless approved in advance by the building principal, athletic director or designee.
Individuals seeking to bring animals into school facilities shall follow the Yarmouth School Committee policy on Animals in Schools.
The user shall assume liability for the loss or damage of articles brought to the facility and any damage to the building, grounds or equipment that may occur during use.
School furnishings or fixtures may be moved only with prior approval.
Property of the users will not be stored on school property without prior authorization. The party assumes liability for loss or damage to items being stored.
The School Committee reserves the right to reject any application or to cancel immediately any permit if in the opinion of the School Committee the spirit or intent of the School Committee’s policies are being violated.
For fourth, fifth or sixth priority users, the individual whose signature appears on the permit application will be considered the person responsible for supervision of the facility requested. He/she will also be responsible for the safety and well-being of all people at the facility and any damages inflicted on the facility or equipment during the permitted time period.
It is the responsibility of the user to restore the facility to its original condition or to pay custodial staff for this service.
The user shall provide a certificate of insurance covering the period under contract as required by the Superintendent or his/her designee. The insurance shall name the Yarmouth School Department as an additional insured. The Superintendent or his/her designee has the sole right to determine the amount of insurance for each event.
The Superintendent, or his/her designee, has sole authority to determine whether the facilities should be closed for reasons of public safety. Notification will be made as soon as possible. Contracts in force for periods during which the school is closed for reasons of public safety are canceled automatically without penalty to either party. However, every effort will be made to reschedule any canceled event to a mutually acceptable date.
Long-Term Use: Long-term facilities use shall be considered to be two or more successive weeks. Long-term rental of facilities shall be considered if there is no detriment to existing programs from this use. If space is available without detriment, space may be rented to groups whose activities are most consistent with the other activities taking place in the building. Therefore, service agencies, educational groups, and youth- oriented activities will have preference.
Rental fees will be established to cover operating costs of these spaces (i.e., lights, heat, maintenance, insurance). If a profit-making group wishes to rent available space, the rental fee will be consistent with the going rate for comparable square footage (to be determined through consultation with local realtors). The rental of a classroom by an individual or private school shall be at a rate established by the Superintendent. Individual contracts for the rental of the facility shall be prepared by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
Any individual or group utilizing Yarmouth school facilities for any purpose (including non-permitted walk-on use) agrees to save, indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Yarmouth and all its employees, the Yarmouth Town Council and all its members, the Yarmouth School Department and all its employees, the Yarmouth School Committee and all of its members, and the Yarmouth Community Services Department and all of its employees, from and against, any and all liabilities, actions, courses of action and damages arising out of any negligent or tortuous acts on the part of the facilities’ applicant, applicants’ employees or agents, and from any and all fines, suits, claims, demands and actions of any kind or nature of any and all persons by virtue of or arising from the use of said facilities, equipment, or activity participation. It is also important to note that participation in recreational and athletic activities can cause bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death or injury to or destruction of tangible property, including the loss or use thereof. Therefore, all of the aforementioned groups and individuals shall also be held harmless from and against all claims, damages, losses, and expenses, just or unjust, included but not limited to costs of defense, including attorney’s fees arising out of or resulting from the performance of any facility usage agreement.
Permitted users acknowledge and agree that they shall be solely responsible for all royalties or charges which are due or may become due on material used for or during an event. The facility user warrants to the Yarmouth School Department and Yarmouth Community Services Department that such royalties or charges have been paid or will be paid promptly in accordance with law. The permitted facility user further agrees to hold the Yarmouth School Department and Yarmouth Community Services Department harmless and to indemnify both for all costs or losses, including attorney’s fees in defense claims, just or unjust, relating to payment of any royalty, charge or fee for use of material by the permitted user during the use of the school facilities.
Legal Reference: 20-A MRSA 1001
Adopted: May 24, 1993
Revised: April 10, 2003, December 8, 2011, May 14, 2015, November 18, 2021