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School board approves policy for facility use
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The Effingham County Board of Education has approved a revised policy for the use of school facilities.

Under the policy, school programs and school-sponsored activities have first priority for use of school facilities. School-related groups, such as parent-teacher associations, booster clubs and Effingham County Recreation and Parks, will be next in priority.

Organizations that would be eligible to use school facilities for their events include non-profit organizations whose members largely are county residents, business partners of the school system, government agencies located within the county and businesses inside the county, but only for non-commercial, community-oriented programs.

Individuals are prohibited from applying for use of school facilities.

The fees for using a school gym and a school cafeteria are $150 for each, and the cost for use of an athletic field is $150 per field used. Use of a classroom, media center or multipurpose room is $150.

There also will be a charge for custodians, plus a utility fee and a fee for lighting if an athletic field or court is used.

Any damages to school property will not be covered by the school system and are the responsibility of the user.

Board Chairman Lamar Allen also asked for a provision for law enforcement protection, if the superintendent’s office deemed it was necessary. Allen said he didn’t see police presence necessary for activities by a church group.

“A lot of times, there needs to be someone there,” he said. “That was one thing I would like to see added to it. There’s no place on contract agreement for police protection.”

Superintendent Randy Shearouse said that could be added to the policy and to the general guidelines.