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Sunnyside AAU feels the squeeze with school rental fees rising rapidly

A small dispute was brought up during the public comment portion of Thursday night's Sunnyside School Board meeting when representatives of Sunnyside AAU complained that their fees for using school district buildings had tripled this year.

Superintendant Richard Cole explained that the school board had directed the district to treat all parties renting school facilities equally after a complaint was lodged that argued some groups were getting preferential treatment. As a result of the school board directive, an across-the-board review of how much each outside group was paying for use of school facilities was conducted. The review discovered that AAU Basketball is a Class B non-profit for most events, but for events in which a portion of money collected goes to Yakima AAU, the group becomes a Class C non-profit, with a higher rental fee.

Dr. Cole stated that the district was working with Sunnyside AAU to try to mitigate the effects of the change. Some assistance for the group may come in the form of credit for past donations they have made to the district, including a scoreboard.

The school board had been unaware of the effect the directive would have on Sunnyside AAU. The decision was made to have Dr. Cole proceed with negotiations, and to consider the issue further as necessary.

Sunnyside AAU serves about 200 children in the district.

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