Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

July 11, 2013

Slideshow: Board tours auditorium, discusses fees

Steve Woodhouse
The Journal Express

Knoxville — The new completion date for the Knoxville Performing Arts Center is Aug. 5. At Wednesday's regular school board meeting, board members took another look inside after discussing potential policies and fees associated with the new facility. 

Superintendent Randy Flack offered suggestions, including school employee supervision of equipment and facilities, including allowing the equipment to only be operated by those who have been trained to use it. The suggestions also included no food or beverage consumption in the auditorium, no alcohol or tobacco, no special effects and that use of the facility is only permitted if it does not interfere or disrupt the educational process. 

Flack also provided the board with a user fee comparison among other auditoriums in the area. They range from $300 in Dallas Center-Grimes to $50 in Oskaloosa for rental. Knoxville currently charges $220 to rent, and $75 for a custodial fee, to use the facility at the Middle School. 

Other districts charge additional fees for use of stage lights, sound equipment and other aspects of the auditorium. All districts expect those who use their facilities to have proper insurance, something the Knoxville School Board agreed should be included in its policy. 

Board Vice President Mike Helle wants to keep Knoxville's rates competitive, to encourage local use. 

"I was thinking $450, total package," Helle said. 

Board member Tim McDonald agreed that the fees need to be reasonable, as the public made the facility possible. The school district borrowed approximately $5 million against anticipated sales tax revenue to build the auditorium. Property tax will not fund the project. 

No action was taken on a policy for the auditorium. Flack is expected to bring a proposed policy back to the board at its Aug. 12 meeting. 

Board members then toured the auditorium. Photos from inside the auditorium accompany this article.