Nikola Pearson 0

Standardize Jefferson County's Building/Facility Use Policy & Give Control to Impartial Third Party

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This petition seeks the Jefferson County Board of Education to update the current Jefferson County Public School’s Building/Facility Use Policy by standardizing the requirements for community use of school facilities, specifically athletic fields, and release management of facility requests to an independent third party such as the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission (JCPRC).


The current Jefferson County Public School’s Building/Facility Use Policy granting full decision-making authority to the school’s principal.  This total control creates the opportunity for bias and discrimination by enabling inconsistent application of Policy and the charging of fees to community organizations requesting use of community tax-funded school athletic facilities.

Currently, and regardless of availability, the process for acquiring the use of some fields is more difficult than others, and often the organization is suggested to use another facility all together. 

Under the existing Policy the school’s principal can dictate which organizations can use the facilities, when and for the length of time of use, and ultimately if there will be a fee for such use with little-to-no checks and balances to ensure the Policy is being applied fairly and consistently to all requesting organizations.

Some of the community’s concerns regarding inconsistent application of the Policy which could lead to the perception of bias or discrimination include:

  1. Custodian Requirement.  In some instances the principal will require a custodian to open, close, and supervise an activity, which will require the organization to pay a custodial fee.  Other times, staff members or another designated individual has been permitted to assume the custodian’s responsibility at no cost to the organization.  It is important to note that if the principal requires the use of a custodian during the activity and none is available, the activity must be cancelled or another location has to be found and used.
  2. Custodial Fees.  Some groups are charged a $30/hour fee for a custodian as stated on the current application, while others are charged $120 for 3.5 hours or less or $240 for more than 3.5 hours.
  3. Response time.  The current form states an application must be submitted a minimum of ten (10) business days prior to an activity so the principal can respond in a timely manner.  However, some principals have taken 2-4 or more months to respond, with no communication in between, despite an applicant’s attempts, resulting in cancellations or last minute changes to programs, or the applicant assumes or concedes that his/her application was rejected or lost and is discouraged to submit future applications.

The actions by some principals and the Jefferson County Board of Education do not represent the community’s needs, however, Jefferson County Parks & Recreation has the community’s interests at heart and can allocate fields and building use just as they do with public parks and recreation centers.  In the end, it doesn't really matter who manages the applications and allocation of facility use as long as the policy is applied the same way across the board, does not offer loopholes that would allow bias and discrimination, and the policy and fees are publicly posted for all to see.

If you agree that a change in the policy and process needs to be made, even if it is not exactly as stated here, please sign this petition and provide us with your comments.

Thank you for your support.

Concerned citizens of Jefferson County Community Organizations

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