District considers community’s building use
Keeping the old Eudora Middle School building downtown open for community use was a little more complicated now that students weren't in the building every day, Superintendent Marty Kobza said at a meeting earlier this month. The USD 491 Board of Education was discussing the district's practices of allowing community groups, such as churches and clubs, to use district facilities, usually waiving the fee.
But having the downtown building unoccupied from day-to-day created complications, Kobza said. Even though the gymnasium's heat would be left on for athletic practices, other facilities wouldn't always be on, he said.
The Board decided to waive fees for several groups the Board considered at its meeting, but Board member Mark Chrislip said it might be a good idea for the district to map out more specifically its position.
In philosophy, the groups the district had allowed to use its facilities for free had been non-profit groups like 4-H, churches, recreation-sponsored activities and employees. But not everything was cut-and-dried, Kobza said, proposing scenarios like an employee playing a pick-up game of basketball, with most of the players not from Eudora; or a family reunion that isn't an organization but is neither for-profit.
Kobza said the district had said the downtown building would be available for community use, an idea Board member Kenny Massey said he thought was important on which to carry through.
"The community involvement in this building has been very, very important," he said.
Fellow Board member Brenda Clark agreed.
"Where are we without the community's support?" she said.