District 303 looking at giving rent relief to St. Charles Park District because of pandemic

Park District has requested rent relief for its use of the former Haines Middle School

ST. CHARLES – District 303 School Board members are considering giving the St. Charles Park District a break on its rent because of financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Park District has requested rent relief for its use of the former Haines Middle School. School board members discussed the issue during their July 22 business services committee meeting.

In October 2019, the Park District entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the school district to manage Haines gymnasium and adjacent classroom space in the former middle school. The Park District pays approximately $3,900 a month in rent.

Seth Chapman, the district's assistant superintendent of business services and chief financial officer, told school board members the Park District lost around $28,000 in projected revenues during the three-month shutdown caused by the pandemic.

"We could potentially do this, but as a district, we should cover our expenses," Chapman said. "Our costs for that space are right around $10,000 for that three-month period."

Board members were receptive to the idea.

"I’m very happy to help out with the rent," board member Becky McCabe said. "We have to see what we can give back."

Board member Ed McNally also expressed optimism a deal could be worked out.

"I just want to make sure that budgets are going to work out for everyone," he said. “We are not talking about a massive portion of our budget here. It’s kind of like making sure the till balances at the end of the shift, that’s all.”

Superintendent Jason Pearson also expressed support for the idea.

"We want to try to be as helpful as we possibly can, given the current circumstances," he said. "I think we can find a number that makes sense for both parties."

Staff will make a recommendation to the School Board as to the extent of the relief package. School board members are set to vote on the issue at their Aug. 10 meeting.