School might not be in session during the summer, but that doesn't mean the Grandview Heights City School District's buildings and facilities are idle.
Along with the expected summer school classes, child care, sports and band activities, school space is used by everyone from a local church to the Columbus branch of the FBI.
"Someone's in our buildings just about every day, even during the summer," said Teresa Rill, the district's EMIS coordinator and facilities secretary.
While the high school and Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School are heavily used during the summer months, Stevenson Elementary School rarely is booked, she said.
"Our school facilities really serve as a kind of community center," Rill said. "We have more outside uses of the school facilities during the summer months.
"During the school year, we can't offer space to many groups because so many school activities are taking place at night and on weekends."
The district has five facility-rental categories.
There is no charge for activities that relate to the curriculum or are directly sponsored by Grandview schools.
Nominal fees are charged for community-service groups whose activities are student-related and benefit the school district.
These groups include the Grandview Parks and Recreation Department, local youth sports leagues, Grandview coaching clinics and camps, and district employees.
Most of the groups using school facilities fall within one of the first two categories, so the district charges them little or no money, Rill said.
"We look at it as being good neighbors to the community," she said. "A lot of the activities that are held at our schools, like the parks and recreation programs, greatly benefit our students."
The third category includes Grandview- or Marble Cliff-affiliated nonprofit organizations, including scouting groups, churches and charitable organizations.
Hourly fees for these groups are $35 for a classroom, gym or media center; $75 for the high school auditorium and cafeteria and middle school commons; $100 for the high school cafeteria with kitchen; and $150 for the middle school commons with kitchen.
Higher fees are charged for established Grandview/Marble Cliff organizations and businesses or groups of Grandview or Marble Cliff residents and for out-of-town groups.
Anyone interested in renting a school facility must fill out the application available on the "community use calendar" section of the district website, Rill said.
Decisions on whether to approve an application are made in consultation with the district's director of facilities, athletic director or building principals, she said.
Come one, come all
One of the most unexpected groups renting space is the Grandview Christian Assembly Church.
The church has held its Sunday-morning services in the middle school's commons for about two years.
"We're an outgrowth of a student group (Oasis Christian Community) that meets at Ohio State University," senior minister the Rev. John Myer said. "The church formed as a kind of 'what's the next step now that we're out of college and are adults now' type of thing for people who had a passion for their faith."
Before moving its services to Grandview, the church met in Upper Arlington.
"The commons has been a great location for our services," Myer said. "We have a music-based service and the acoustics are really good."
The informal setting also helps establish a welcoming and informal tone for the services, he said.
"We won't force it on you, but if you're new to our church, you might just get taken out for lunch after the service," Myer said.
The school also is an ideal location for the program Grandview Christian Assembly offers for youngsters.
"It's easy to hold a program for children in a facility that's designed for children," Myer said.
Grandview Christian Assembly seeks to be an integral part of the larger community, he said.
"We're always looking for ways to give back to the school district and the community," Myer said. "Some of our church members volunteered to help out at the Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic."
Other users of school facilities are involved in more-worldly concerns.
Earlier this month, the Columbus FBI held training sessions at the high school track, Rill said.
"I think our track was a good location for them because it's fairly close to their office," she said. "People were running on our track and not even realizing the other people on the track were FBI agents."
In past summers, the Columbus Blue Jackets held training sessions on the athletic field, Rill said.
"We had professional hockey players working out right here in Grandview, and most people didn't even know it," she said.
The high school auditorium is a popular rental option, Rill said.
"The community theater group the parks and recreation department sponsors with Carriage Place Recreation will be using our auditorium next month for their rehearsals and performances," Rill said. "We've had some initial interest from Nationwide about holding a meeting or some type of function in the auditorium next year."