Besides the traditional favorites like tetherball and four square, students at Dickinson Elementary School and Explorer Community School enjoyed another game at recess this past spring: chess.
Community Use of School FacilitiesSchool buildings are built with taxpayer dollars. Lake Washington School District believes those buildings belong to the community and should be available for community use when it does not conflict with the district’s mission of educating children. In fact, the district’s administrative policies outline the basic philosophy and understandings around community use of school facilities. Fees are charged for the use of facilities so that district funds intended for the education of children are not used to support other activities.
Building use applies to one-time facility use or regular use for up to one year. Building users can re-apply each year to continue their use for the subsequent year. Long-term leases must be made by special arrangement with the district business office. In order to ensure that school buildings are always available for school programs, long-term leases are unusual.
Buildings may be used by non-profit organizations. For-profit or commercial groups are not permitted without the prior approval of the Board of Directors. Building users are divided into six classifications, and fees for the classifications differ.
User Group Classifications
Click on an arrow below to see the different user classifications:
- Group I: District or school-oriented groups
- Group II: City-sponsored youth activities via cities / school district interlocal agreements
- Group III: Non-profit youth organizations with members residing within the Lake Washington School District
- Group IV: Non-profit adult organizations with members residing within the Lake Washington School District; other city and state agencies
- Group V: Other non-profit organizations
- Group VI: Other adult organizations
First Priority: District or school-related programs or activities and district or school-oriented groups that exist primarily
because of the school program. It includes:
- Curricular and extra-curricular student groups
- The associated student body
- School booster clubs
- Staff unions or other staff groups
- District-convened citizen advisory groups
Third Priority: Local community non-profit youth organizations with a membership roster of at least 65 percent of members residing within the boundaries of Lake Washington School District. Examples include:
- Boys & Girls Club
- YMCA and YWCA
- youth sports leagues such as soccer leagues or Little League
- Lake Washington Youth Ski Council
- 4-H Club
- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
- Camp Fire
Fourth Priority: Adult non-profit organizations that have as their prime focus the interests and needs of the local community and whose membership roster demonstrates at least 65 percent of its members reside within the boundaries of Lake Washington School District. This category also includes state and local agencies with which the district does not have a joint-use interlocal agreement. Examples, if they meet the 65 percent requirement, include:
- Community clubs
- League of Women Voters
- Service clubs
- Senior citizen groups
Sixth Priority: Private and commercial groups including semi-professional groups, private social groups, etc. Private groups are not permitted to use district facilities without the prior approval of the Superintendent. Commercial or semi-professional groups must receive approval of the Board of Directors.
Apply to the specific school or other district location
Determine first what school or district building your group would like to use. The district map on this website is a good starting point to determine where all district buildings are located. If your group is large, you may want to concentrate on junior high or high schools or the district resource center. Smaller groups will have more flexibility in which buildings to use.
The building use application form is available at all locations. It cannot be filled out or sent electronically: it is a numbered four-part form that must be filled out with a pen. Please follow these instructions:
- Fill out the application and submit it to the school principal or their designee, or to the designated person for a non-school district building.
- Submit the application at least 20 calendar days before the intended use.
- Include in the application the name of the person who will be responsible for sponsorship, supervision, indemnification and facility security. That applicant must sign the form, acknowledging agreement with the district rules and requirements.
- Provide documentation of your organization’s non-profit status.
- Provide a membership roster or a statement of what percent of your members reside within Lake Washington School District boundaries.
- Provide a certificate of insurance. If you do not have one, such insurance is available at the user’s expense through the district Risk Management department 425-936-1119. The building principal or their designee reviews the application.
- The building principal or their designee approves or rejects the application. If accepted, they also make custodial arrangements.
The principal or their designee will make the determination based on criteria including:
- Eligibility of the group to use district facilities
- How the building use fits in with or impacts scheduled school activities at the site or previously approved building use activities
- Whether custodial help will be needed and, if so, if it is available
- If a district employee is available to operate specialized equipment needed in theater or stadium use situations Class I groups have priority over all other groups when determining building use schedules and handling conflicts. The continued use of a building is not automatically guaranteed.
Building Use Fees
Building use fees are charged according to the current year’s rental rates. There are separate schedules for stadium and theater fees. All estimated facility use fees must be prepaid. Payment is collected at the building that is to be used.
Group I users, the school-oriented group, may use any district facility free of charge. If there is an additional cost to the district, such as a custodian’s time, special equipment arrangements, etc., that cost will be charged to the group involved.
The Cities of Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish also use school buildings or grounds free of charge, though the energy surcharge fees apply. These city users will be charged for stadium and theater uses and custodial costs for any building use will be charged as necessary.
Custodial fees are charged only when a custodian is not normally on duty. The custodian’s time will be paid for by the user group. Each use will be charged a minimum of one hour additional custodial time for opening, cleanup and closing the facility. A custodian working on the weekend is paid a minimum of two and one half hours as specified by union contract. A custodian working on a district holiday will be paid twice their regular rate of pay.
A food service employee must be present whenever a kitchen facility is used and labor fees will be charged.
No refunds will be given for cancellations by user, however fees paid for activities may be applied to reschedule facility use. Additional applications will be required if extended usage is anticipated.
Any damage, broken equipment, vandalism or other alteration of buildings and or grounds caused by a user group will be billed to that user group.
Building Use Rules
The district has developed some basic rules governing proper conduct when using its buildings, listed here.
- The application of material to walls, ceilings or floors is prohibited unless previously approved.
- Burning of candles is prohibited.
- Proper footwear must be worn on appropriate surfaces. For example, soft-soled shoes must be worn on gym floors.
- Users must remove their excess materials, equipment, furnishings and rubbish after using the facilities. Return room furniture to the original set-up.
- Building users shall not practice unlawful discrimination of any kind.
- Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, narcotics, or other dangerous drugs are not permitted in school facilities or on school property at any time.
- To conserve energy, building users are expected to end activities by 9:30 p.m. Please keep that in mind as you determine if a school or other district building is the best site for your meeting or event.
- District employees may not use district facilities for a for-profit enterprise. District employees who operate summer camps for a non-profit organization must pay the use fee appropriate for that organization.
- The school district has an absolute right of cancellation without liability. Every effort will be made to provide the user a 24-hour notice.
More guidelines are listed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Although the district operates its schools as nonpublic forum, these procedures are designed to create a limited public forum for the use of the District’s facilities, subject to the requirements set forth in these procedures and the district’s regulations. The district may modify these procedures and its regulations or close the forum at any time without cause and without incurring any liability.