School Facilities: BER Halls
Community use of BER Halls
When the Federal Government invested $16.2billion to fund infrastructure projects at primary and secondary schools - Building the Education Revolution (BER), as we know it - they made community use of those facilities a condition of the contract.
Our School-Community Links project has found examples of BER halls making a difference to music programs in schools. Read more at www.moremusictoolkit.org.au/school-halls
"It is a condition of funding under the BER that schools must agree to provide access at no, or low, cost to the community to libraries and multipurpose halls funded under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century element of the BER. This must include reasonable access by any community or not-for-profit groups in the local community."
Where a hall was built with BER funding, "a school is not obliged to incur the cost of community usage of their BER libraries and multipurpose halls (or a comparable facility within the school), however schools should not be seeking to make a profit either", says the Government's fact sheet.
Schools funded for enhanced facilities under the Australian Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER) initiative will be aware that conditions of funding relate to community use of such facilities.
For example, under the BER Element 1 Primary Schools for the 21st Century, the school must agree to provide access at no, or low cost to the community to libraries and multipurpose halls funded under this element of BER. This must include reasonable access by any community or not-for-profit groups in the local community. Schools may charge a low fee for the use of the facility where the charge is to cover recurrent costs incurred by the school in providing the community access (e.g. electricity, cleaning, security).
Read the fact sheet here: http://foi.deewr.gov.au/node/14770
Pictured: Dandenong Ranges Music Council is co-located at Monbulk Primary School's BER-funded, pianola-inspired, Bev McAlister Performing Arts Centre, named in honour of DRMC's founder.