Rent for Central Okanagan school facilities to increase

Pre-school and after school programs to also go up

It will cost more for community organizations and not-for-profit groups to rent school facilities to host activities. (Contributed)  (File photo)

Rental rates for Central Okanagan Public Schools facilities will increase as of July 1.

Rates charged for community rental rates for non-profit groups hourly will increase from $140 to $200 and for-profit groups from $140 to $300.

Included in that hike is an increase in custodial rates upped to $50/hour for non-profits and $75 for for-profit organizations.

Preschool and after-school rates also take a hit, from $355 to $373 monthly for pre-school programs and $593 to $623 monthly for for-profit groups.

Rental fees are reviewed every three years, and school district staff say the changes reflect increases in clerical and custodial support, along with inflationary increases to indirect costs such as increased weekend demand of custodial staff, increases in utility rate usage and overall general wear and tear on a given facility.

For the period of 2016 to 2020, the usage of the rental program by the community was averaging about 5,300 hours annually.

Usage during the COVID pandemic period, the 2020-21 school year, was almost zero with the numbers for 2021-22 expected to return to pre-COVID levels.

As well, as of June 30, 2021, 40 childcare programs were in place at 21 school locations.

For the 2020-21 school year, the rental program generated about $450,000 in revenue for the school district.

Prior to COVID, that figure was about $630,000 a year. For the 2021-22 school year, the revenue is expected to reach about $575,000.

Trustee Chantelle Desrosiers said it is unfortunate that school rental rates must go up, but it is a reflection of providing a service to community organizations in which operating costs are rising.

READ MORE: School board claps back at West Kelowna councillor’s comments

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