LWSD Resource Center

Community use of school facilities

School buildings are built with taxpayer dollars. Lake Washington School District believes those buildings belong to the community and should be available for community use when it does not conflict with the district’s mission of educating children. In fact, the district’s administrative policies outline the basic philosophy and understandings around community use of school facilities. Fees are charged for the use of facilities so that district funds intended for the education of children are not used to support other activities.

Building use applies to one-time facility use or regular use for up to one year. Building users can re-apply each year to continue their use for the subsequent year. Long-term leases must be made by special arrangement with the district business office. In order to ensure that school buildings are always available for school programs, long-term leases are unusual.

Buildings may be used by non-profit organizations. For-profit or commercial groups are not permitted without the prior approval of the Board of Directors. Building users are divided into six classifications, and fees for the classifications differ.

User group classifications

Apply to the specific school or other district location

Determine first what school or district building your group would like to use. The district map is a good starting point to determine where all district buildings are located. If your group is large, you may want to concentrate on middle schools or high schools or the district resource center. Smaller groups will have more flexibility in which buildings to use.

Building use fees

Building use fees are charged according to the current year’s rental rates. There are separate schedules for stadium and theater fees. All estimated facility use fees must be prepaid. Payment is collected at the building that is to be used.

Group I users, the school-oriented group, may use any district facility free of charge. If there is an additional cost to the district, such as a custodian’s time, special equipment arrangements, etc., that cost will be charged to the group involved.

The Cities of Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish also use school buildings or grounds free of charge, though the energy surcharge fees apply. These city users will be charged for stadium and theater uses and custodial costs for any building use will be charged as necessary.

Custodial fees are charged only when a custodian is not normally on duty. The custodian’s time will be paid for by the user group. Each use will be charged a minimum of one hour additional custodial time for opening, cleanup and closing the facility. A custodian working on the weekend is paid a minimum of two and one half hours as specified by union contract. A custodian working on a district holiday will be paid twice their regular rate of pay.

A food service employee must be present whenever a kitchen facility is used and labor fees will be charged.

No refunds will be given for cancellations by user, however fees paid for activities may be applied to reschedule facility use. Additional applications will be required if extended usage is anticipated.

Any damage, broken equipment, vandalism or other alteration of buildings and or grounds caused by a user group will be billed to that user group.

Building use rules

The district has developed some basic rules governing proper conduct when using its buildings, listed here.

  • The application of material to walls, ceilings or floors is prohibited unless previously approved.
  • Burning of candles is prohibited.
  • Proper footwear must be worn on appropriate surfaces. For example, soft-soled shoes must be worn on gym floors.
  • Users must remove their excess materials, equipment, furnishings and rubbish after using the facilities. Return room furniture to the original set-up.
  • Building users shall not practice unlawful discrimination of any kind.
  • Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, narcotics, or other dangerous drugs are not permitted in school facilities or on school property at any time.
  • To conserve energy, building users are expected to end activities by 9:30 p.m. Please keep that in mind as you determine if a school or other district building is the best site for your meeting or event.
  • District employees may not use district facilities for a for-profit enterprise. District employees who operate summer camps for a non-profit organization must pay the use fee appropriate for that organization.
  • The school district has an absolute right of cancellation without liability. Every effort will be made to provide the user a 24-hour notice.
  • If the Washington State Department of Health/Public Health imposes additional requirements due to COVID-19, then the District will expect these requirements to be followed by all community users.

More guidelines are listed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Although the district operates its schools as nonpublic forum, these procedures are designed to create a limited public forum for the use of the District’s facilities, subject to the requirements set forth in these procedures and the district’s regulations. The district may modify these procedures and its regulations or close the forum at any time without cause and without incurring any liability.

Playground and field use

All LWSD playgrounds, tracks and tennis courts are closed to the public during the school day from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and open for weekend and evening use. School campuses are closed during the school day. As a reminder, large, organized activities are not allowed. The public is also not allowed to be on a field when an outside organization is renting the field.