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Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education members decided to move in a different direction with rentals of the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
Board members voted during Tuesday’s meeting to establish reimbursement rates for workers at events held at the PAC. The rates would be charged on an as-needed basis with $125 going toward each a site coordinator and lights and sound person and $50 for a student assistant. Additional fees could be charged for utilities and janitorial services as needed.
Previously, the district charged $800 for use of the facility by for-profit groups and $400 for use by non-profit organizations.
Also under the new direction, board members eliminated a supplemental position, choosing to non-renew Pam Egbert for the part-time position she has held since the PAC opened two years ago and which paid between $4,000 and $5,000 annually.
“We were new to this business and we wanted someone to oversee the PAC,” Wapakoneta City Schools Superintendent Keith Horner said. “We didn’t know how it worked. As we got a couple years into it, we got a better idea.
“We’re going to try to do a different type of arrangement,” he said. “We thought it would be a more efficient way for us to administer the PAC. We thought we could do it with the people we have and already pay and give them a stipend based on the rental event.”
He said before the facility, adjacent to Wapakoneta High School, could be rented, a core group would need to commit to being able to be there to help.
Horner said the district doesn’t don’t have the resources to pay several people full-time to work at the facility like the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, in Van Wert.
To carry out with the new plan, Horner said some people, including a few administrators, would need trained in the tasks with one such training already planned for next week.
“We hope to have a small group of people trained depending on the needs,” Horner said. “We have people who think we need to bring groups in, some who think it’s just a school auditorium, and others who don’t care.”
He said the district also is looking for people with experience who are interested in doing lights and sound and willing to work as needed.
Ultimately, he said the school board is in charge of the PAC and they would have to decide how to proceed and create an idea of what they want it to be.
“Whatever they decide the need is, they will have to get it out there,” Horner said. “We’re trying to figure out what direction we want to go.”
The plan is to work throughout the year on determining what that will be and not rush into any decisions.
“Already groups are wanting to rent it for next May and until we got something official with rates it was hard to book them,” Wapakoneta City Schools Operations Director Mike Watt said.