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District Gym Fees Expected To Be Assailed Again Tonight

Reps from two Catholic schools, Valley Athletic Association plan to attend school board meeting

Three local entities upset over the school district's new fees for use of its facilities plan to let their feelings be known at tonight's school board meeting.

and Catholic schools and the Valley Athletic Association will have representatives in attendance, according to Dan Shurdich, athletic director at St. Ephrem's.

“(We) wish to do this as a group,” said Shurdich, who expressed his ire at the last school board meeting.

The ADs at the two schools and the athletic association have said the new policy could kill their after-school boys basketball programs. Specifically, they have said, the fees would cost St. Ephram's about $41,000, St. Charles about $100,000 and Valley more than $40,000.

However, district business manager Jack Myers has said the groups have overestimated the costs, saying they should be based on $70 an hour. He also defended the policy, saying it was what the school board wanted in lieu of higher taxes and/or student activity fees.

The groups also have complained to Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo, who met with district officials and has said he hopes the district will modify the policy.

The school board approved the 13-page policy in June. The policy includes rental fees, energy and air conditioning charges, and deposits for differently classified entities, including nonprofits, that use gyms, pools, fields, auditoriums, cafeterias and rooms.

At the time, Myers said many districts don't allow such usage and the intent of the new policy is to cover district costs.

Myers pointed out that the district got $3 million less in state aid for the coming school year.

Tonight's meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm at the Dorothy Call Administrative Center on Donallen Drive.

The board also is expected to reject for a second time an application for a charter school in Trevose.

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