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Did you miss our first two blogs in our 5-part blog series? If so, catch up here: Part 1 and Part 2. When we first begun our cost recovery research, we quickly realized that once a district begin a cost recovery program, cost recovery improve year after year so don’t give up if you’re not seeing immediate results.
Let’s dive into steps 5 and 6 in our cost recovery implementation series!
Taking the time to build support with school-level administrators is important. Their understanding of what they will gain from this change is key in garnering support for a district-wide approach to community use. Positives include better visibility of who is in a building and when, not having to play the
“bad guy” with certain groups or school users, lowered risk, improved security and less work.
At Clayton School District in Missouri, not everyone involved in the process could see the advantages at first. To help extinguish conflicts before they arose, she explained to the principals and school personnel what was in it for them, and she also created training manuals to aid with the rollout of their facility scheduling system. The principals appreciated the concept of knowing what is taking place in their buildings and then having the ability to approve the events. Meeting one-on-one with administrators and assistants to provide detailed explanations helped ease fears associated with implementing a new tool that would ultimately enable better scheduling and cost recovery.
With the rising use of schools by the community creating very real demands on resources and school budgets, recovering the costs used to support this facility use is crucial. Douglas County School District in Colorado and Pembroke Public Schools in Massachusetts agree that school systems should at least estimate their costs for:
Administration of events – Calculate administrators’ time to receive requests, check availability, check insurance validity, acquire approvals, inform users of policies and restrictions, arrange for services, create an invoice, and collect payment.
Custodial services – Calculate the cost of custodial time for events. Most school systems agree that events require custodial services at least a half hour before and after an event, and frequently that involves custodial overtime.
Utility usage – Calculate the estimated impact on your energy and water bills. Use of schools after hours requires the HVAC to keep running, lights to stay on, and equipment to be powered.
Facility wear and tear – Calculate the shortened life of buildings and equipment resulting from additional use. Use of school property after hours by outside groups accelerates the depreciation of asset
Find out how a district streamlined their community use of facilities requests and is now handling 10,000 events per year.
Coming up next: Develop fee structure and improve invoicing