The Higley Unified School District’s governing board approved last week a new set of rental fees that will begin July 1 to help recoup utility costs.
Higley follows other East Valley school districts that have raised their fees in the last two years. The Gilbert Unified School district increased fees last year for the first time since 2005, according to district spokeswoman Dianne Bowers. The Mesa Unified School District started charging a utility usage fee last year. There are no plans to raise the rates for next year.
School districts charges groups rates based on how they are classified. Non-profit groups are typically charged less than others.
The district did approve charges for student, teacher and staff groups that meet in district buildings during the summer or after normal operating hours during the school year (such as after 9 p.m.). In the past, those groups were not charged a fee. Now, they will have to pay between $5 and $15 per hour.
• $5 to $10 increase per hour for groups to rent sports facilities with lights. Previously, there was no fee for the use of lights.
• $5 increase per hour to rent a multi-purpose facility with a kitchen.
• $5 increase per hour to rent a sports practice field.
“We did a comparison study of surrounding districts, and if the rates were in what they considered a comparable range, they did not increase greatly expect utilities for the main gym and stadium lights,” said Sonya Williams, director of community education for the Higley district. “We’re not trying realize an additional revenue stream. We’re just trying to cover the utility costs.”