Clarion Area tweaks facilities policy

In previous years, the Clarion Area School District wouldn’t allow those outside the district free use of Clarion Area facilities but the board made an exception for Clover Volleyball club sport at the board’s regular meeting held Jan. 9 at the Clarion County Career Center in Paint Township.

The Clover Volleyball Club expanded to allow volleyball players from other schools to participate in the program.

The board unanimously approved the waiver for Clover Volleyball to use the high school facilities with some stipulations.

Those stipulations include in season district sports will take precedence for building usage, PIAA approved sports take precedence for building usage, only students from Clarion County school districts are permitted to participate in the Clover Volleyball club sport, any tournaments held at the district facility will require payment of building usage and custodial costs, any weekend practices will require custodial costs.

The board discussed the issue in depth at the board’s work session Jan. 2.

When the issue was first broached by the board, Julie McCormick questioned Clarion Area Superintendent Dr. Joe Carrico on what Clover wanted from the board.

“Is the request for us waive the building fee?” McCormick asked Carrico.

Carrico explained, “By allowing other kids to participate from county schools, we would not say [Clover] is for-profit.”

Board secretary Jill Spence further explained, “Right now [Clover] is school affiliated as a booster club so they don’t have a fee but if we let other schools in, we would change categories.”

Carrico said the athletic committee discussed the issue around 30 minutes prior to the work session.

Board member Dave Estadt, who is a member of the athletic committee, said there were a number of factors discussed about the club by the committee.

“Basically [it came down to] whether [the club] is for-profit or non-profit, are the kids only Clarion kids or are they kids from other school districts and I think the consensus was that the majority of the kids they have on the Clover team are Clarion kids so our kids are benefitting from it,” Estadt said. “[And on the question] of whether they are for profit, I don’t think they really make anything and what they do make gets put back into the Clarion Area booster club.”

The question of what the pecking order was when it came to facilities use was an easy one, according to Estadt.

“[Clover] can’t supplant any other sanctioned sport through Clarion Area,” Estadt said. “They are last up for everything. If softball wants the facility at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon and Clover wants it [at that same time], softball gets it. Clover will have to wait.”

Estadt also explained why the comittee felt it was necessary to charge Clover for use of the building when it hosts tournaments.

“If [Clover] decides to host a tournament here where they are making additional money and they are having kids coming here from other schools and they are charging people a fee to attend the tournament then they have to pay a fee plus janitorial costs,” Estadt said.

Board member Theron Miles asked if other groups like AAU basketball would attempt to use the facility like Clover but Carrico said it was not possible.

“Everyone will have to come to us for approval,” Carrico said. “We don’t want to change the policy.

“The basic premise is that the building should be preserved for taxpayers and people in the district.”

In other business at the regular meeting, the board;

– Approved the hire of Riffat Butt as a part-time food service worker at a rate of $10 per hour.

– Approved hiring Erika Cathcart as elementary volleyball coach with a supplemental salary of $2,250.

– Approved both Julie Johnson and Megan Johnson for Instruction in the Home at a rate of $31.66 per hour for each.

– Accepted the resignation of Ruth Cattivera as a food service substitute.

– Appointed Dave Lewis to a three-year term as the Clarion Area representative on the Clarion County Career Center Joint Operating Committee.

– Appointed Dave Estadt as an alternate representative to the Clarion County Career Center Joint Operating Committee.

– Approved the law firms of Logue & Urik and Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennett as the district’s solicitors.