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Community Use of Schools (Rentals)

Last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

We are committed to student learning, equity, engagement and innovation. Through Community Use of Schools, HWDSB aims to strengthen our collaboration with new and existing community partners to enhance opportunities for students.

Most HWDSB schools are available for community use during the school year from:

  • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday; and
  • 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends

Please note that schools are generally unavailable for community use from mid June through mid September, Winter and March Break, Statutory Holidays, long holiday weekends or P.A. Days.

  • Non-profit adult groups are eligible for a 50% subsidy of facility rental fees.
  • Non-profit youth groups are eligible for a 75% subsidy of facility rental fees.
  • Groups meeting the eligibility criteria for Priority Schools Initiative receive a 100% subsidy for space costs, caretaking overtime and insurance.

Rental Fees are calculated as follows:

Permit Fee (+HST) + Facility Rental Fee (+HST) + Insurance Costs (+PST) [if required] + Caretaking Fee (+HST) [if required].

1. Permit Fee

Please note, all fees listed below are subject to a $25 non-refundable permit application fee. Once an application has been approved, requested additions or changes are subject to a $10 alteration fee.

2. Facility Rental Fee

In the 2016/2017 school year, non-profit adult groups are eligible for a 50% subsidy and non-profit youth groups are eligible for a 75% subsidy. Groups meeting the eligibility criteria for Priority Schools receive a full subsidy for space costs, caretaking overtime and insurance.

Please refer to the User Groups section for a definition of user groups if you are unsure what category you are in.

Community hourly rate (non-profit with no subsidy) Non-profit adult group with subsidy( 50%) Non-Profit youth group with subsidy (75%) Priority schools with subsidy (100%) Commercial for profit
Single Gym $30.00 $15.00 $7.50 No Cost $45.00
Double Gym $60.00 $30.00 $15.00 No Cost $90.00
Classroom $6.00 $3.00 $1.50 No Cost $9.00
Library $30.00 $15.00 $7.50 No Cost $45.00
Cafeteria $35.00 $17.50 $8.75 No Cost $52.50
Auditorium Class 1* $95.00 $47.50 $23.75 No Cost $142.50
Auditorium Class 2** $65.00 $32.50 $16.25 No Cost $97.50
Auditorium Class 3*** $45.00 $22.50 $11.25 No Cost $67.50
All groups, regardless of the category, are subject to a $25 permit fee. HST is applied to the permit fee, space costs and caretaking fees.

Auditorium Class 1* (Premium seating) – Ancaster, Glendale, Sir John A Macdonald, Sir Allan MacNab, Westdale
Auditorium Class 2** (Regular seating) – Delta, Sherwood, Waterdown
Auditorium Class 3*** (Bench seating) – Dalewood, Nora Frances Henderson, Westmount

3.Insurance Costs

Applicants must provide proof of $2 million comprehensive general liability insurance naming Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as ‘Additional Insured’. If applicants do not have insurance they must purchase insurance through the online rental application process.

4. Caretaking Fee

Caretaking fees are incurred for groups renting on Saturdays and Sundays at a minimum three-hour rate. Caretaking fees are $39 per hour on Saturdays and $52 per hour on Sundays.

User Groups

Non-profit with no subsidy

Registered non-profit groups, organizations or individuals that serve the broader community and charge fees or collect donations for participation in programs and opportunities. Fees are charged to participants that are more than covering the costs of permitting HWDSB facilities and incidental costs.

Non-profit adult group with subsidy

Non-profit groups and organizations that serve the needs of adults and that provide programming that is low cost or free for participation. Preference will be given to groups and organizations that provide programs and opportunities focused on supporting student achievement, skill building and that are neighbourhood based.

Non-profit youth group with subsidy

Non-profit groups and organizations that serve the needs of youth and that provide programming that is low cost or free for participation. Preference will be given to groups and organizations that provide programs and opportunities focused on supporting student achievement, skill building and that are neighbourhood based.

Priority Schools with subsidy

Funding provided by the Ministry of Education so that eligible, non-profit groups can access select schools’ after-hours. Free use of school space allows local non-profit organizations to offer affordable or no-cost programming.

Commercial for profit

Use of HWDSB facilities by youth and adult for profit groups and organizations that are commercial or business in nature and are located in and outside of the City of Hamilton.

We are offering the rental of schools through a user friendly online reservation process.

Renting a School Facility is a Simple Four-Step Process:

1. Create an Account

If you are at least 18 years of age, have a valid email account and agree to the rules governing the use of school facilities, then you can create your account.

2. Apply

To rent a school facility, use the online application system. Log in to your account, enter the type of user you are and create a new permit.

3. Organization/Event Profile

Please fill in the Organization/Event Profile and please email them to rentals@hwdsb.on.ca. This form is used to identify if you are eligible for a subisidy and in which category.

4. Tentative Approval

HWDSB staff will review your application and if available, will hold the space for your group pending final approval.

5. Final Approval

Your final approval will occur with proof of your insurance and your payment. Upon approval, a rental permit will be electronically issued.

Distribution of School Space:

At times groups are looking to rent the same space at the same time. When this instance happens, the following criteria will be used to determine who gets the rental:

  • Schools and school-related activities always have first priority for use of their respective facilities
  • Partnerships and agreements with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
  • Non-Profit Youth Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit Adult Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit No Subsidy
  • Commercial For Profit Groups

In each user category, preference for use of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board facilities is given to groups and organizations whose activities, events, programs, and opportunities are:

  • Supporting or contributing to student achievement and skill building
  • Neighbourhood or community-based and where users are part of the neighbourhoods in which the facility is located to help develop relationships and support neighbourhood community-building
  • Using Board space to provide low or no cost opportunities to participants
  • Sponsored or funded by the Government of Ontario

Last year we introduced an on-line credit card payment option available to all our permit holders. This year, to improve our support, we are making the on-line credit card payment option a requirement for all recurring (weekly/monthly) permit holders.

  1. Billing to the credit card, for organizations with permits having multiple rental dates, is at the beginning of each month for uses scheduled for that month.
  2. Any adjustments to permits that modify costs after billing has occurred for the month will be made on the next billing cycle (ie. the following month).
  3. Please note that organizations with a credit card on file will automatically have the credit card billed for all costs.
  4. Organizations who are billed monthly by credit card will be sent an email of the invoice each month. It is also available by logging into your eBase account.
  5. Refunds will be issued at the end of the year for monthly billed customers.
  6. If your permit is a one-time event and you are not an organization with permits having multiple rental dates, your permit costs (fees, space costs and insurance and caretaking overtime if applicable) will be billed directly to your credit card upon approval of the permit if the event is within the month that the permit is issued. If the event is later in the year, the credit card will be charged on the 1st day of the month of the permitted event.
  7. Groups whose overall account activity does not require an on-line credit card for monthly billing will be required to pay their permit costs in full prior to the permit being approved. Alternate acceptable payment methods are cheque, bank draft or money order or you may call in your card number to a Rentals staff member.  Payment must be received 5 business days prior to the event date. Permits we have not received payment for will be cancelled. Cheques are made payable to Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and can be dropped off at:

20 Education Court, Hamilton – off Wentworth, across from Limeridge Mall

Or mailed to:

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Attn – Rentals, PO Box 2558, Hamilton, ON L8N 3L1

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-527-5092, extensions 2522 or 2524.

The following Rules and Regulations govern the use of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) facilities. Failure to comply may result in immediate permit cancellation and may impact on future requests for use of HWDSB facilities, at no cost or liability to HWDSB.

Responsibilities of the Permit Holder

The person named as the permit holder is responsible for all rules and regulations that apply to the use of HWDSB facilities. Rental groups/organizations are required to conform to all Regulations of the Province of Ontario and By-Laws of the City of Hamilton. An approved permit for use of space is only for the group/organization listed on the permit.

Top 10 Things to Remember About Community Use of Schools (Permit Holders)

Supervision

  • Adequate adult supervision is required by all rental groups for the entire duration of the rental.
  • An adult is a responsible person who is 18 year of age or older.
  • It is the responsibility of the permitted user to ensure that their participants:
    • remain within the designated rental area(s)
    • not damage the building or grounds
    • leave the school on, or before, the ending time of the rental permit
  • The adult supervisor must be the first person to enter the facility and the last to leave.
  • When renting multiple spaces in a facility, there must be a supervisor in charge of each area (i.e. when multiple classrooms are used, there must be a supervisor for each classroom).
  • If adequate adult supervision is not demonstrated at all times by the user, the permit for use of space will be canceled and future requests for use will be declined.

Facilities

General

  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act states that smoking or holding lit tobacco is not allowed anywhere on school property by anyone, at any time. This includes cars that are parked on school property or cars that are coming onto school property.
  • No food or drinks are permitted in facility foyers or to be taken into auditorium and gymnasium spaces.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in buildings, or on the grounds of HWDSB without the prior approval of the Executive Superintendent, Student Achievement, and School Operations.
  • Pyrotechnics are prohibited in all HWDSB buildings and properties.
  • The room capacity must not exceed the Fire Prevention Division Maximum Occupant Load indicated on the capacity card posted.
  • Games of chance, lotteries, bingo games and all other forms of gambling are forbidden on HWDSB property.

Cafeteria

  • Rental groups must rent the cafeteria for the consumption of food and/or beverages.
  • Rental groups must leave the cafeteria clean and as they found it previous to use.
  • Rental groups cannot use the cafeteria for food preparation nor use the supplies or equipment that are owned by the cafeteria company at the facility.

Parking Lots

  • Parking must be confined to a facility’s parking lot or street parking.
  • No parking is allowed on fields or paved playgrounds.
  • Renters are solely responsible and liable for all vehicles and the contents inside vehicles that enter or park on Board property.
  • HWDSB does not guarantee the availability of parking spaces for rentals at any of our facilities.
  • Any questions about parking should be directed to the facility.  Overnight parking is strictly prohibited.

Auditorium

  • Auditorium rentals require the use of two student assistants as stage crew to work the sound and lighting system at all secondary schools.
  • An event that has a number of participants or spectators may require a second Caretaker to be on staff to assist in the clean-up during and after the rental time and will be charged accordingly.
  • For large and ongoing events during the day and evening, the rental of additional rooms may be required for use as change rooms.

Gymnasium

  • Non-marking, rubber-soled shoes must be worn at all times for all sports activities in gymnasium and auditorium spaces.
  • Floor hockey is not permitted in any school gymnasium unless plastic or composite floor hockey equipment is used.
  • Indoor soccer balls must be used for all soccer rental activities.
  • Rugby, football, and lacrosse are not allowed in any gymnasium of HWDSB

Equipment

  • Rental groups/organizations are not allowed to store furniture, equipment or materials in any of our facilities. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board insurance does not cover any items left by permit holders.
  • Permits include the use of volleyball standards and basketball nets. Sporting equipment such as volleyball nets, ball, floor mats, scoreboards, etc. are not included as part of the rental agreement.
  • Rental charges do not include the use of school audio-visual equipment or sound system and stage lighting for auditoriums. This must be arranged directly with the school at least one week in advance of your rental.
  • Permit holders may use the tables and chairs belonging to a facility if they are available and shown on the permit.

Security

  • In the event of an emergency, contact the After Hours Security Desk at 905-667-3079.
  • During a rental, Caretakers will open a designated door 15 minutes prior to the rental start time and will lock the door 15 minutes after the rental begins. If a group has people coming and going, the group is to arrange to have a door monitor in place. Doors are NOT to be propped open.
  • The rental group/organization shall notify the Caretaker on duty if a stranger to them enters the facility.
  • The rental group/organization is advised to have access to a cell phone for general use and emergencies.
  • For large, full day events and competitions, HWDSB may require security guards to be employed for the entire duration of permitted use of space. The cost of security guards will be the responsibility of the rental group/organization.

Safety

Injury

  • The permit holder is required to immediately report a critical injury and/or accident to the Caretaker on duty at the facility so that they can secure the space in which the injury and/or accident occurred.
  • It is the responsibility of all permit holders to report critical injuries and/or accidents that occur while on HWDSB property to:
    David Bennett – Purchasing (Risk Management and Insurance)
    905-527-5092 ext. 2265
    dbennett@hwdsb.on.ca
  • Critically injured means an injury of a serious nature that:
    • Places life in jeopardy
    • Produces unconsciousness
    • Results in substantial loss of blood
    • Involves the fracture of a leg or arm, but not a finger or toe
    • Involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot, but not a finger or toe
    • Consist of burns to a major portion of the body
    • Causes the loss of sight in an eye

Fire

  • The HWDSB Approved Fire Safety Plan is applicable at all times when the building is occupied.
  • Any person detecting smoke or fire must immediately sound the fire alarm by activating the nearest fire alarm pull station and call 911. All fires must be reported to the Fire Department by calling 911.
  • On hearing the fire alarm signal, all activities are to be stopped and everyone must evacuate the building using the nearest safe exit or alternate exit. Only when it is determined to be safe by the attending Fire Department personnel, will participants be allowed to re-enter the facility.

Damages/Post-Use Assessments

  • Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board retains the right to review and assess damages or any additional costs incurred during a permitted use. A revised permit will be provided detailing these costs and financial responsibility is borne by the permit holder in its entirety.

Top 10 Things to Remember About Community Use of Schools Permits (For Caretakers)

Cancellations

  • Cancellations, changes to date(s) and time(s) and additions to approved permits for use of space can be requested through our on-line system for scheduling community use of schools.
  • At least five business days notice is required for any change to an existing permit for use of space. Changes and additions to permits less than five business days from the start of the permit use will not be considered. Cancellations less than five business days from the start of the permit, will result in no refund to the group for their cancellation.
  • When a rental group does not show for their scheduled permit of use, they will receive one warning by e-mail from the Rental Administrator. On the second occurrence, the remainder of the permit for use will be cancelled. In addition, a rental group who received a subsidy for their permit will be charged the full rental costs (space and care taking fees (if applicable)) for the No Show occurrence.
  • Use of HWDSB facilities will be automatically cancelled when schools are closed due to inclement weather, strikes, or any other causes beyond the control of HWDSB. When a cancellation occurs, permit holders and Board staff will be notified by email. Closure on a Friday means that schools will not open again until Monday. Therefore, permits for Friday evening, Saturday, and/or Sunday will be cancelled.
  • Approved permits for use of space may be cancelled, or dates of permits may be changed, if the permitted facilities are required by the Board for school activities, or by the government for polling stations. If a rental group is displaced by a school activity or an election, the Rental Administrator will contact the group to revise the existing permit.
  • Permits may be revoked or cancelled by HWDSB in its sole, absolute and unfettered discretion at any time, with or without cause, and without penalty or any further liability of HWDSB; and the rental group shall have no claim or right to any reimbursement or costs whatsoever as a result of any losses, damages or expenses incurred by the rental group in connection with such revocation or cancellation.

How are these amounts set?

The rental rates represent the costs to the board to make the space available on an hourly basis. The new rental rates are consistent, fair and transparent. Through the use of Ministry of Education grants, we are able to provide subsidies to non-profit youth and adult groups.

How do I know what my user group category is?

Please refer to the User Group section for a description of each user group. If you are still unsure, contact the Rental Administrator for assistance.

How long does it take for permit approval?

Permit applications are accepted throughout the year. Your placement will be dependent upon availability.

Permit requests made at the start of the school year will take additional time to process due to volume.

How is it decided who gets the rental?

At times groups are looking to rent the same space at the same time. When this instance happens, the following order of user groups priorities will be used to determine who gets the rental space:

  • Schools and school-related activities always have first priority for use of their respective facilities
  • Partnerships and agreements with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
  • Non-Profit Youth Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit Adult Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit No Subsidy
  • Commercial For Profit Groups

In each user category, preference for use of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board facilities is given to groups and organizations whose activities, events, programs, and opportunities are:

  • Supporting or contributing to student achievement and skill building
  • Neighbourhood or community-based and where users are part of the neighbourhoods in which the facility is located to help develop relationships and support neighbourhood community-building
  • Using Board space to provide low or no cost opportunities to participants
  • Sponsored or funded by the Government of Ontario

How will I know when my permit is approved

Your permit will be approved once payment is received and your Certificate of Insurance has been verified.

You will receive a copy of your permit via email.

Be sure to check the dates and times for accuracy.

Am I required to have insurance for my rental?

All permits must have insurance or the permit will not be issued. Your Certificate of Insurance must have a minimum $2 million general liability naming Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as the additional insured. If you are unable to provide a Certificate of Insurance, you must purchase insurance through HWDSB.

What happens if I don't get the space I requested?

You may not receive the space you requested, depending on demand and the distribution of space. However, staff will continue to work with you to find an alternate location. We endeavour to accommodate all user groups when they are requesting space within our schools.

Are we allowed to use school equipment?

Permit holders are only allowed the use of the tables and chairs as listed on the permit.

No gym equipment other than volleyball, badminton and basketball standards/nets are available for community use. Score clocks may be available to the users, subject to the school procedures, approval and user fees.

A qualified technician must be present when the school’s multi-media equipment is used, and a charge will apply.

School stage crew or Board stage technician must be present when the school sound, lighting and multimedia equipment is being used. Fees apply for these services.

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