Board of Education Policy 3280: Use of School Facilities, Materials and Equipment

School Facilities

While the District’s school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the District, and District uses take priority, 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. District facilities may be used for the purposes permitted by Section 414 of the Education Law.

The Superintendent of Schools shall establish procedures governing the use of District facilities, including the establishment of a fee schedule, to be published as a Facilities Use Handbook for the community and prospective groups using district facilities. This handbook will be available on the district’s public website.     

The Facilities Use Handbook will specify different types of groups and organizations that may request to use District Facilities and priority levels and a fee structure that is applicable to each. The District will make available to the public a defined list of spaces that are available to use and a schedule for when these facilities may be requested.  


Conditions of Use for District Facilities

  1. Use of District facilities may be permitted unless such facilities are in use for school purposes, or during educational programs. All school activities and school-affiliated organizations (e.g. PTOs, Friends/Booster groups) shall have preference for the use of facilities. The District reserves exclusive and non-reviewable judgment to determine if a requested use would interfere with or disturb the District’s educational programs.
  2. Use of District facilities is subject to a user fee schedule, adopted by the District and published in the Facilities Use Handbook, that enables the district to cover costs associated with the outside use of school facilities. The Facilities Use Handbook will designate different groups of facilities users and the fee structure may be different depending on the type of group (e.g. a nonprofit recreational organization that serves youth who reside in the Niskayuna Central School district versus a for profit entity). Facilities use is further conditioned upon the applicant’s agreement to pay additional fees associated with the use of any additional services or equipment.
  3. When facilities use fees are applicable, the user shall pay the District no later than thirty days after billing. 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 and will strive to provide the applicant with at least one week notice of these estimated costs.
  4. Where, in the judgment of the District, the requested use of District facilities requires special equipment or supervision, the District reserves the right to deny such use or, in the alternative, to condition such use upon the applicant’s payment of additional fees. Only authorized personnel shall operate District equipment, which includes kitchen equipment.
  5. Use of District facilities will be permitted only when the requesting organization provides the District with timely evidence of adequate insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum) to save hold the District harmless from all liability, property damage, personal injury and/or medical expenses. The District will exercise complete and unreviewable discretion regarding what constitutes adequate insurance coverage for each proposed use.
  6. The Board reserves the discretion to deny use of District facilities described above, or to terminate use of District facilities by an applicant who has misused or abused District facilities, any use that 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 that could reasonably be expected to or actually does give rise to a riot or public disturbance; and any use that the Board deems inconsistent with this policy.
  7. The Board specifically reserves the right to revoke any permit granted to any user without prior notice to such user. In the event of such a revocation, the reasons thereof shall be stated to the user in writing.


    Application Procedure for Use of District Facilities 

    1. The District Facilities Handbook will specify more detailed procedures for the application for the use of space in the district. At a minimum, applicants for the use of are subject to the procedures outlined below absent an approved lease agreement that may otherwise supersede the procedures. All applicants for the use of school facilities must submit a Facilities Use Request Form through the online system provided by the district.
    2. The applicant must clearly and completely describe the intended use of the District facility on the Facilities Use Request Form. 
    3. All applicants must review this policy prior to submitting Facilities Use Request Form. All applications must be signed by an authorized agent of the group or organization requesting use. The applicant’s submission of the form will be considered an attestation of the group or organization’s intent to comply with all Board policies and regulations.
    4. All applicants must agree to assume responsibility for all damages resulting from its use of District facilities.
    5. Approved requests shall be valid only for the facility, use, dates, and time specified in the permit. No adjustment to the approved request is allowed except with the prior written approval of the District. Approval to use district space is not transferable.
    6. All applications to bring any outside food vendor(s) on to District property are subject to additional requirements, including proof of licensure by local health departments, indemnification certificates, fire suppression equipment (if cooking), and, in the case of food trucks/mobile food vendors, proof of automotive liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 and limitations on truck movement when on site.
    7. The District is authorized to alter or cancel any approval if it becomes necessary to use the facility for school purposes or for other justifiable reasons.
    8. Facilities use approval shall not limit the right of access to the facility by District staff.

    The School Business Administrator or Designee shall grant or deny Facilities Use Requests. Denials of applications may be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools.


    Materials and Equipment

    Except when used in connection with or rented under provisions of Education Law Section 414, school-owned materials or equipment may be used for school related purposes only. Private and/or personal use of school-owned materials and equipment is strictly prohibited. The loan of equipment and materials for public purposes that serve the welfare of the community is allowed, as long as the equipment is not needed at that time for school purposes and that the proposed use will not disrupt normal school operations.

    The Board will permit school materials and equipment to be loaned to staff members when such use is directly or peripherally related to their employment, and to students when the material and equipment is to be used in connection with their studies or extracurricular activities. Community members will be allowed to use school-owned materials and equipment only for educational purposes that relate to school operations. The Board will also allow the loan of equipment to local governments and other entities that benefit the welfare of the surrounding community. The Board supports such inter-municipal cooperation as it saves taxpayer monies and is a more efficient use of scarce or costly equipment and resources.

    The District will develop administrative regulations to assure that use of school-owned materials and/or equipment complies with the letter and spirit of this policy, including a description of the respective rights and responsibilities of the School District/lender and borrower in relation to such materials and equipment.


    Education Law Section 414

    NY Constitution Article 8


    NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #3410 — Code of Conduct on School Property

    #5640 — Smoking/Tobacco Use

    #7320 — Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)

    #7410 — Extracurricular Activities

    District Code of Conduct





    Adopted July 7, 2016; Updated December 12, 2023