, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 14, 2013

Rental fees for school facilities may climb

Advisory committee will look at current policy


Activities run by civic, service, educational and charitable organizations and individuals when a fee or admission is charged must pay a fee. For-profit organizations, regardless if they charge admission must also pay a fee. Employee-sponsored or employee-run programs benefiting local students which a fee is based and for which the employee or person performing the service is paid would be charged an hourly fee based on fee schedule with a cap of $1,000.

All school-sponsored and school-related activities; activities that benefit the city’s youth when no admission fee is charged; and activities run by civic, service, educational and charitable organizations to benefit the community when no fee or admission is charged, can use school facilities without being charged, according to the school district’s facility use policy.

Among the organizations which depend on school fields is the Newburyport Youth Soccer Association (NYSA). More than 1,000 children ages 3 to 14 are part of the league which plays its games and conducts practices at Cashman Park by the Merrimack River, Cherry Hill soccer fields off Daniel Lucey Way and the city-owned Fuller Field off Low Street near Nock Middle School. NYSA’s season begins the third week in August and goes through November. After a winter break the league resumes in March and goes until June.

NYSA president Matthew McDermott said the league could absorb a nominal increase. But a more substantial hike could prompt league organizers to reevaluate its use of Fuller Field. Already, the league spends thousands of dollars doing its part to maintain Fuller Field, McDermott added.

McDermott said it has always been the policy of the organization to keep its league fees as affordable as possible.

“A fee increase would certainly affect that,” he said.

But McDermott stressed that even without a fee increase, the league would someday likely consolidate its operations to Cherry Hill and Cashman parks as more children join the league. In three years, enrollment jumped 20 percent prompting a fee increase in 2011. A look at the NYSA’s field schedule via its website shows that only a small portion of practices and games are held at Fuller Field.

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