The Huntington School Board spoke mostly in favor of a plan last week to revise its seasonal facility use schedule as a means to raise extra revenue — although some warned the change might cause a negative reaction from a few local groups.
If approved, three-month seasonal useage rates for gymnasiums, classrooms, libraries, outdoor playing fields, tennis courts and locker rooms would be affected at Huntington High School, Finley Middle School, Jack Abrams, Woodhull Intermediate and primary schools.
The schedule revision would allow profitability and flexibility while keeping Huntington in line with rates of other districts, according to Superintendent Jim Polansky.
Fees for groups which serve the primary benefit of Huntington students would be waived.
"I don't think you'd want to take the ability to use our facilities away from any groups out there who serve kids, particularly those non-profit organizations and those serving our own kids," said Polansky at a meeting at March 19.
Board President Emily Rogan and Trustee Jen Hebert spoke in favor of the resolution at the meeting.
"For the most part, I am really comfortable with this," said Hebert.
"I think this is going to benefit the district," said Rogan.
Trustee Kim Brown, seemingly in favor of the plan, questioned facility usage fees paid by the Town of Huntington.
District Assistant Superintendent of Finance David Grackin said a discounted flat fee is currently being paid by the town to the school district for facility usage — although the town charges the school board full price for facility usage of their facilities.
Discussions regarding use fees between the town and school board are ongoing, according to Grackin.
"It's not been a productive conversation to this point," said Polansky.
Trustee Rich McGrath warned that reaction from groups currently paying no facility use fees could pose a problem in the future.
"I predict we may underestimate some of those situations," said McGrath. "I don't think you are going to like the reaction."
If approved, the plan is expected to take affect July 1, the first day of the new school year.
The school board meets Monday at Jack Abrams school at 7:30 p.m. Agenda