Niskayuna Central School District Facilities Use Handbook
This handbook is intended to serve as a guide to using school facilities by internal district organizations, school-affiliated entities (e.g. PTOs and Friends/Booster Groups), and outside entities. All such use of school facilities by school-affiliated entities and outside organizations is governed by Board of Education Policy 3280.
Facilities Use Procedures
District Facilities Use System
The district uses the online software program Master Library Schedules or “ML Schedules” to facilitate the review, approval and scheduling of facilities use by internal and external groups. The system requires organizations to register first prior to being granted the ability to request space, and then enables organizations to submit Facilities Use Requests for district review. Unless otherwise authorized by the Superintendent of Schools or Designee, this is the only means by which organizations can request space in the district. View the guide to using ML Schedules here.
A fee schedule has been established for the use of district facilities. Fees vary depending on the type of space, the group requesting the space, time of use (custodial overtime considerations), and any other special needs (e.g. use of sound, lighting, crowd control, etc.). The fee schedule can be found here.
Different types of groups will have different spaces available for use based on the Category or “Level” of the group as outlined below. All district facilities that are made available to eligible groups and for eligible uses are subject to considerations of district need for use of the facility, potential risk of harm to participants, potential damage to district facilities, and district abilities to provide staffing to maintain opening and closing of buildings. Outside spaces are generally not available for use by non-school groups when school is in session, with certain rare exceptions requiring authorization of the Superintendent of Schools.
Conditions of Use
The following process shall be followed when any person, group or organization requests use of District facilities.
All non-District groups or individuals desiring to use District facilities must apply for an account associated with their Group/Organization through the district’s facilities use system.
The application must include all official organization information, organization description and mission, an active Certificate of Insurance, and the contact information of two individuals associated with the organization.
Applications may take up to 2 weeks to approve.
The District Business Office/Facilities Coordinator shall review the application and all associated information and determine if the organization is approved to request space and the category of organization that the applicant falls under.
Requesting District Space
Once a group is approved, groups will be provided with an account to access the Request System. The group must login and place a request to use the District Facilities, consistent with these provisions:
- The request is not guaranteed to be approved
- The spaces and times that are available may be dependent on the group type.
- A group’s request will be reviewed by programmatic and building leadership. If approved, the group will receive notification of such approval.
All School events and Interscholastic Athletic events take precedence over external group events. The District retains the right to cancel or change any approval for the use of its facilities.
Group Categorization Definitions
The Category or “Level” that is assigned to a group is at the discretion of the School Business Administrator but can be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools. The decision is based on the information that is submitted on the application as well as other commonly available information about the organization. The Level assigned to a group is the basis for which space may be available to an organization and the fees associated with facility use.
Level 1: Any group or individual who is a school employee and whose use of the space is directly tied to a school event that is instructional, extracurricular or part of the interscholastic athletic program.
Level 2: Groups whose sole mission is to support District programming in partnership with the District. Examples include, but are not limited to PTOs, SEPTA, Booster Club, Friends of Music and Art, N-CAP.
Level 3: Nonprofit groups whose purpose is to provide activities, services and programming to residents of the Niskayuna Central School District. Examples include, but are not limited to, scouting and youth sports organizations, community-based nonprofits and local government. To be categorized as Level 3, an organization’s participation needs to be comprised of at least 75% residents of the Niskayuna Central School District.
Level 4: Organizations, who are for profit, serve external groups, or non-residents. Examples include, but are not limited to other school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit groups, and adult-centered organizations.
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.
Multi-Sport Turf Field: The use of multi-sport turf field at Niskayuna High School will be reviewed on a case by case basis during the Varsity season to ensure the condition of the field is not negatively impacted.
Fields: The use of Varsity athletic fields will be reviewed on a case by case basis during the Varsity season to ensure the condition of the field is not negatively impacted. 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 and the need for periods of maintenance.
Auditorium: Special sound, lighting, stage curtains, and other equipment are generally not available as part of use of the auditorium.
Kitchen: Will not be available for use by Level 3 and 4 organizations. All use of kitchen equipment must be supervised by a staff member trained to operate the kitchen.
Swimming Pool: Rental of the pool is not available to individuals and non-aquatic groups. This Level IV fee is available for other swim programs that may seek to use the pool (e.g., a college or other high school team). This area will be used only under the direct supervision of qualified school personnel or a person qualified and approved by the Athletic Director to direct aquatic events. Lifeguards must be hired through Niskayuna Central School District and the Facilities Coordinator will decide how many lifeguards are required for a specific program. This cost is in addition to any facilities fee that may be required. All other regular facility use regulations apply.
School Schedule and Calendar
General End Time for Use of Facility (Monday-Friday)
For groups that are Level 2 (outside groups) and above, school space is not available after 9 p.m. at all buildings.
Saturdays and Sundays
Niskayuna High School: Outside groups may request schools and fields but will be charged the facility fee and applicable custodial fees. Space will generally not be available to outside groups (Levels II and Above) after 9 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Middle School: Groups may place requests to use middle school facilities at this time but this is contingent on staffing availability and will result in custodial overtime charges. Space will not be available to outside groups after 9 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Field usage is allowed, and the groups will be charged the field use of facility fee. Groups using fields will not have access to buildings.
Elementary Schools: Groups are NOT allowed to use the school facilities during this time. Field usage is allowed, and the groups will be charged the field use of facility fee. Groups will not have access to buildings.
Holidays and School Breaks
On state holidays, national holidays, and days of religious observance that the District is closed, there will be no use of district facilities. Exceptions for Level 1 (school) activities only require the approval of the Superintendent of Schools or Designee.. Facilities use may be requested over school breaks (other than Holidays as defined above), but outside groups should understand that building coverage and the ability to approve requests may be limited during school breaks.
Snow Days and Other Weather-Related Cancellations
District facilities are closed on snow days. When school is closed for the day or when school activities are canceled, all school buildings will be closed and all approved Facilities Use Requests will be canceled. When it is determined that the building will be closed due to a weather-related event, including on weekends, any groups who had reserved the space are responsible for checking the district website and other communications platforms that carry information about school closures.
Groups can register to receive these notifications here.
Summer Use of Facilities
General Rules for Facility Use
The use of any school facility is permitted only through explicit approval by the school district through the approved online system. Users must adhere to rules applicable to space for which license is granted.
- District need 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 applicant uses at the same level as for district functions. The determination of the need for custodian(s) and number of custodians needed will be at the sole discretion of the District. Custodial costs are in addition to any facilities fee that may be required and will be communicated prior to the event
- 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.
- In conjunction with the SAVE legislation and for 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. Each group is responsible for evacuating its members in case of an emergency. Failure to comply may cause the organization’s right to request space to be revoked.
- 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.
- No smoking, vaping, use of e-cigarettes, or alcoholic beverages are allowed on school property.
- 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, including but not limited to reimbursement of damages and suspension of license to use facilities.
- It is the district’s expectation that every member of the Niskayuna community and all using school facilities will contribute to and accept responsibility for an orderly and respectful climate while in our school buildings and on our school grounds, as described in the Code of Conduct on School Property (Board Policy 3410).
The district will assess a $200 security deposit for the year for those community groups who utilize buildings and grounds for their activities. This security deposit will be used in the event of any damage to the buildings and grounds. If no damage has occurred the deposit will be applied towards final payment for facility use.
Groups who need to cancel their activity must email the Facilities Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org 8 hours in advance for weekday activities, or by the Thursday prior for weekend activities. If a group’s activity needs to be canceled as a result of a school activity, the group will be notified via email or phone as soon as possible. If you need to cancel your activity as a result of dangerous weather, you should call the Facilities Coordinator by 9 a.m. on the day in question.
Additional security or parking coordination may be required for certain events. The group will be charged for security above and beyond the usual coverage.