Please contact our Facility Coordinator, Karyn Gumprecht, at (518) 237-0100, ext. 2358 to submit a facility usage request.
Facilities Use Handbook
Public Use of School Facilities
Conditions of Use for District Facilities
Application Procedure for Use of District Facilities
Condition for Use of Special Facilities
General Rules for Facility Use
How to Form a Non-Profit
While the district’s school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the district, the Board of Education recognizes that the buildings and grounds are a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community for specific uses that will not interfere with educational activities. This policy is intended to identify the uses that community groups may make of those facilities.
Public use of school facilities may take place during and after school hours only if, in the opinion of the building principal, the use will not disrupt normal school operations. The Board of Education will permit the use of the buildings, grounds and other property of the district when not in use for school business for any of the purposes permitted by Section 414 of the Education Law.
District facilities may be used for the purposes listed below subject to the conditions and restrictions set forth in in Policy 1500.
- Instruction in any branch of education, learning or the arts;
- Public library purposes subject to provisions of the Education Law or as stations of public libraries;
- Social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments or other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community so long as such uses are non-exclusive and open to the general public;
- Meetings, entertainment and occasions where admission fees are charged when the proceeds are to be spent for an educational or charitable purpose;
- Polling places for holding primaries, elections and for the registration of voters;
- Civic forums and community centers;
- Recreation, physical training and athletics including competitive athletic contests of children attending a private, nonprofit school;
- Childcare programs when school is not in session or when school is in session for the children of students attending schools of the district and, if there is additional space available, for children of employees of the district; and
- Graduation exercises held by nonprofit elementary and secondary schools provided that no religious service is performed.
Any use not permitted by Policy 1500 is prohibited. In addition, the following uses are specifically prohibited:
- Meetings sponsored by political organizations; and
- Meetings, entertainments and occasions that are under the exclusive control of, and the proceeds are to be applied for the benefit of, a society, association or organization of a religious sect or denomination or a fraternal, secret or exclusive society or organization other than veterans’ organizations or volunteer fire fighters or volunteer ambulance workers.
- Use of district facilities may be permitted unless such facilities are in use for school purposes or during educational programs. The district reserves exclusive and non-reviewable judgment to determine if a requested use would interfere with or disturb educational programs.
- To ensure that district facilities are preserved for the benefit of the greater district community, only community based groups and organizations (that is, groups which are located within the geographic area covered by the district) may be granted access to district facilities.
- Use of district facilities will be permitted only where the applicant agrees to pay the district a user fee in accordance with the group level and fee schedule outlined herein. Use is further conditioned upon the applicant’s agreement to pay additional fees associated with the use of any additional services or equipment. The district retains the right to condition use upon an applicant depositing with the district a sum equaling the estimated costs and fees associated with the proposed use 10 days in advance of the requested use.
- Where, in the judgment of the district, the requested use of the district facilities requires special equipment or supervision, the district reserves the right to deny such use or to condition such use upon the applicant’s payment of additional fees in accordance with paragraph C above. Please be advised that only authorized district personnel shall operate certain district equipment (i.e. the sound and lighting system in the high school auditorium).
- Use of district facilities will only be permitted where the organization provides evidence of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to save the district harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injuries and or medical expenses 10 days prior to the event. The district will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.
- The Board reserves the discretion to deny use of district facilities described above or to terminate use of district facilities as follows:
- An applicant who has previously misused or abused district facilities or property or who has violated this policy;
- Any use which could have the effect of violating the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution or other provisions of the United States or New York State Constitutions;
- Any use which, in the estimation of the Board, could reasonably be expected to or actually does give rise to a riot or public disturbance;
- Any use which the Board deems inconsistent with this policy;
- Any use by a private, for-profit entity that has the direct or indirect effect of promoting the products or services of such entity;
- An instance where alcoholic beverages or unlawful drugs are sold, distributed, consumed, promoted or possessed; and
- Any use prohibited by law.
- All applications for use of school facilities shall be made in writing and submitted at least 30 days prior to the date of the requested use. The application process is available by contacting the Facility Coordinator. The Facility Coordinator can be contacted at (518) 237-0100, extension 2358.
- The application process shall include an interview process, whereby the intended use of the facilities and responsible parties are clearly documented. Further, proof of residency & not-for-profit status shall be provided.
- All applicants must review this handbook prior to submitting an application. All applications must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting use. The applicant’s signature on the application shall attest to the group or organization’s intent to comply with all Board of Education policies and regulations and to use district facilities strictly in accordance with the use described in the application.
- All applicants must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from its use of district facilities. Proof of adequate insurance must be provided by the applicant at least 10 days before the date of the requested use.
- Permits shall be valid only for the facility use, date and time specified in the permit. No adjustment to the permit is allowed except with the prior written approval of the Superintendent of Schools. Permits shall not be transferable.
- The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to alter or cancel any permit if it becomes necessary to use the facility for school purposes or for other justifiable reason.
- With regard to scheduling activities, the district retains the right to give preference to groups and organizations which are associated with or sponsored by the district.
- Issuance of a permit shall not limit the right of access to the facility by district staff.
- Gymnasium – Facilities of the district approved for public use will be cared for to the satisfaction of the athletic director, the director of facilities and the building principal. Gym users must wear appropriate gym shoes or sneakers. Locker rooms may be used at an added expense as per the fee schedule herein. No food or drink enters the gymnasiums.
- Fields – Varsity athletic fields are not available for rent during the varsity season. Fields approved for public use will be cared for to the satisfaction of the athletic director, the director of facilities and the building principal. The district, at its discretion, may limit the use of fields based on the condition of the fields.
- High School Auditorium – Special sound, lighting, stage curtains and other equipment will be operated only by authorized district personnel. The “renter” is responsible for making arrangements with district authorized personnel and paying for their fee, in addition to the district fee, outlined herein.
- District needs for facilities will always take precedence over other uses. In the event it becomes necessary for a district function to be scheduled at a time and place previously assigned to an applicant, the district function shall take precedence. If the applicant cannot reschedule the activity, any fees or deposits paid will be refunded by the district. In no event, shall the district be liable for any losses or damages incurred by such a change.
- The district requires a member of its staff to be on the premises whenever a facility is in use. Additional specialized staff may be required if school equipment will be used. Custodial service will be required for all applications at the same level as used for district functions.
- Use of district facilities must be directly supervised by two or more adults attending the activity at all times. Group contact person: each group using school facilities must designate one person (and one alternate) who will serve as the contact for communication from and to district staff. The “Group Contact Person” will also assume certain responsibilities for enforcing district regulations and responsible for payment of all district fees incurred for the event.
- Scheduling of activities, communication with group members and the school district, the conduct of the group members, the proper use of school property and the payment of any fees due.
- Each facility’s application should include the name and phone numbers of the group contact person, coaches for the group and youth group team parents, as well as the participated schedule of activities.
- In conjunction with the SAVE legislation and/or the safety of our students, no building’s doors should be propped open; and the group contact person should assure that all doors are properly closed after each group enters the building and after each group leaves for the night. Persons not registered with the group should not be permitted in the facility. Each group is responsible for evacuating its members in case of an emergency.
- For any group using facilities more than occasionally, the group contact person or any other responsible members (coaches/team parents) shall attend a meeting at the beginning of each school year outlining the agreement between the district and the group concerning expected behavior and procedures for using district facilities. Each application should include the name and phone numbers of the group contact person, coaches for the group and youth group team parents who will assume responsibility for supervision of the youth while on district property as well as the anticipated schedule of activities.
- At any given event or activity, if it is expected that the usual number of participants will be exceeded by 25%, prior approval by the designated school administrator must be received. The number of persons admitted to a function must not exceed room capacity.
- The group contact person or his/her designee is expected to be aware of special circumstances, such as school is not in session or emergency weather conditions. He/she is expected to obtain building closure information via the school website. If necessary, the group contact person will take responsibility for making all participants aware of any cancellation of activities if schools are closed.
- As a general rule, buildings are closed to outside users by 10:00 p.m.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed on school property.
- Smoking is not permitted in or on school property in accordance with state and federal laws (Policy 1530).
- No applicant may alter, add to, or remove equipment in a facility that is already in place without specific written authorization from the director of facilities and under the supervision of a qualified district employee. Staff assistance shall be limited to ordinary day-to-day functions and persons so employed by the district shall not be responsible for the supervision of the participants.
- Applicants may charge admission fees to be applied toward educational or charitable purposes. No fees may be charged to benefit the purposes of any society, association or organization of a religious sect or denomination or fraternal, secret or exclusive society organization.
- Each group is expected to leave each facility in the condition in which it was found. In the event of misuse of facilities, misconduct of individuals or other abuse of the privileges, the district will take appropriate action. This action includes, but is not limited to, suspension of permit to use facilities, requiring replacement of group contact person, requiring reimbursement for damages or extra expenses incurred and denial of future request for use of the facilities.
- District-sponsored groups, PTO, community not-for-profit, travel & recreational programs proposing uses which will result in an educational benefit may use district facilities according to the group level and fee schedule.
- Groups exempt from paying a use fee for their own activities may not extend their exempt status to applicants that would otherwise be charged a fee.
- Fee considerations:
- Group level of user
- Purpose of event (meeting, fundraiser, etc.)
- Type of facility needed (auditorium, gymnasium, classroom, and field)
- Length of use
- Day of use (i.e., Monday, Saturday)
- Number of participants
Events and activities will be scheduled according to the following priorities:
- School sanctioned & PTO events
- Activities of school related groups & booster clubs and
- Activities for district students sponsored by community organizations.
Group I – School Related Groups
School Events, PTO
Group II – Community Based Groups
Booster Clubs, Cohoes Community Center & City of Cohoes Athletic Programs (75% or more Cohoes residents)
Group III – Non-Residents/Not-for-Profit Area Membership
Community Not-for-Profits, Recreational Groups & Other Agencies (50% or more Cohoes residents)
The Steps to form a 501 (C)(3) non-profit corporation in New York:
- Choose the initial directors and officers for your nonprofit
- Must be at least 18 year old
- Choose a name for your New York non-profit corporation.
- Search the NY Database
- Submit written request with the Application for Reservation of Name
- Prepare and file your non-profit articles of organization and submit the Certificate of lncorporation
- Prepare bylaws for your New York non-profit corporation
- Obtain an employer identification number (ElN)
- Open a bank account and establish check signing procedures
- File form 1023 federal tax exemption application
- Obtain your New York state tax exemptions
- Register with the NYS Charities Bureau
Summer use is strictly limited in order to carry out annual cleaning, building and field maintenance, reconstruction and new construction projects. Facility use during school vacation and examination periods shall be limited as well.
Groups I and II are exempt from paying fees for using district facilities. The following fees are applicable for Group III:
- Classroom – $25/hour
- Library – $25/hour
- Cafeteria (excluding kitchen) – $100/hour
- High School Auditorium – $75/hour
- Gym – Elementary Schools – $50/hour
- Gym – Middle School – $75/hour
- Gym – High School – $75/hour
- Regular Athletic Fields – $25/hour
- Varsity Field (Unavailable during season) – $50/hour
- Press Box/Concession – $100/event
- Scoreboard – $50/event
- Locker Room – $20/hour
- PA System – $35/hour
- Sound and Lighting System – $35/hour
There will be a per diem charge for weekend custodial services for Groups II & III. A charge will also be applied for these groups when custodian services are required and that custodian would otherwise not be on duty. Additionally, this charge will also apply if the district determines that additional custodial support is needed for an event during normal business hours.
All groups holding tournaments must adhere to the following rules as they pertain to use of district facilities:
- Each group must fill out and submit a request for use of facilities through the Facilities Coordinator.
- Each group must provide their certificate of insurance at least 10 days prior to the tournament. Please contact the Facility Coordinator concerning the specific requirements for the insurance certificate.
- All groups are responsible for making sure no food or drink enters the gymnasiums. Each group must reserve a cafeteria to serve as a concession area to help alleviate any problems related to food and drink in the gyms. Group representatives should be present at the entrance doors to the gym to keep food and drink from entering the gym.
- All groups must make sure that all children are supervised at all times. Everyone attending the tournament should remain in the designated tournament areas and not wander the halls of the schools. It is important to ensure that no spectators (especially children) go under the bleachers.
- In case of fire alarm, all participants and spectators must evacuate the building.
- All groups should notify the Facility Coordinator regarding the individual who will be responsible each day of the tournament by providing a name and cell number for our use in case of an emergency or questions.
- Trash containers will be provided for use by the group during the tournament. Please ensure that attendees use them.
- Groups will be billed for any damage that should occur while a facility is in use.
- Each group should have an alternate plan should the shot clock and/or scoreboard in the gym not work during your tournament.
- The Facility Coordinator will invoice each group at the conclusion of your tournament. The contact person you provided on the request form will be responsible for payment. The invoice will be sent to the address provided.
Additional security or parking coordination may be required for certain events. Groups will be charged a fee for any additional service.
The Cohoes City School District, the Board of Education, its agents and employees are not responsible for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of any participation in any course, activity or program offered or operated by community individuals or organizations.
Any and all risks involved in participation in programs offered by community individuals or organizations are assumed by the participant.