Code: IGB.AR Topic: Utilization of Surplus Space in Schools Issue Date: 29/01/2020 Effective Date: 07/01/1983 Review Year: 0
GENERAL The Board has made a commitment to encourage community use of school space which has become surplus to program requirements because of declining enrolments and the construction of new facilities. There is also a need to maintain at least an 85% space utilization rate across the Division (enrolment divided by operational capacity) in order to maximize provincial financial support for new construction. School space which is surplus to program requirements should therefore be leased to community groups wherever possible.
SPACE INVENTORY Planning maintains an inventory of the availability and use of school space. Once each year, a floor plan of the facility is distributed to each school, and information is collected on instructional use, vacant classrooms, and leased space. The resulting data on the availability of surplus space is provided to the Property Management, which is the central coordinating office for the leasing of space in schools, and which refers potential lessees to school principals.
IDENTIFICATION OF SURPLUS SPACE
Principals, in consultation with Assistant Superintendents, are responsible for determining the space required for school programs and identifying surplus school space available for community use.
The provincial guidelines for determining required and surplus school space are as follows:
Elementary and Junior High Schools:
Number of home rooms required: full-time equivalent enrolment divided by 25.
One classroom for every 10 pupils attending Special Education programs.
One additional classroom for each school with a capacity of 500 pupils or less.
Two additional classrooms for schools with a capacity of over 500 pupils
One additional classroom should be added to those generated by the above calculations, in order to provide flexibility beyond that provided by provincial guidelines. This is a Division allowance.
Senior and Composite High Schools: The calculation of "required" space in senior and composite high schools is based on credit counts rather than enrolment. Details are available from the Planning and Accommodation Branch.
APPROPRIATE USES FOR SURPLUS SCHOOL SPACE
Use of school space for other than Edmonton Public School activities shall be compatible with the Board's educational aims and objectives and normal school operations and must comply with municipal zoning by-laws.
Priority in allocating surplus space should be given to uses for which Alberta Education gives an exemption from fixed capacity. Alberta Education considers both type of use and rental fee in determining whether or not exemption will be granted for a specific use. Exemptions are generally granted for uses (a) to (f) listed in (3) below. Advice on the probability that exemption will be granted to a proposed community use is available from the Planning and Accommodation Branch.
In the event that requests for space exceed the available surplus, the following order of priority will apply:
Other publicly supported educational institutions in the City of Edmonton or its immediate environs;
The City of Edmonton, including its administrative departments and agencies such as Community Leagues and city-sponsored day-care centres;
Legally registered non-profit organizations which primarily sponsor service-oriented activities;
The Government of Alberta;
The Government of Canada;
Commercial enterprises such as private day care, private schools, and professional offices.
The province does not exempt space leased for commercial uses such as private schools. In such cases the Division should be adequately compensated by rental fees. Advice and assistance in this matter is available from Planning.
LEASE AGREEMENTS Details regarding terms of lease agreements and the required approvals and procedures are set out in the Leasing Manual.
INQUIRIES BY POTENTIAL USERS Potential users of surplus school space who approach the schools directly should be referred to the Property Management.
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