Riverside Elementary School District 96 and the village of Brookfield are poised to approve an agreement that would allow the village to use Hollywood School for recreation programming rent-free during the summer and on three weekday afternoons during the school year in exchange for providing two crossing guards for Hollywood School free of charge.
A draft intergovernmental agreement was hashed out after meetings between Brookfield Village Manager Tim Wiberg and District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye and District 96 Director of Finance and Business Operations Jim Fitton.
But there could be a stumbling block. When they discussed the issue at their Dec. 15 meeting, several District 96 members said that if they approved the facility-sharing agreement they wanted, all residents of District 96 — not just those who live in Brookfield — to be charged the Brookfield resident rate for any programs held at Hollywood School.
“I think if we’re going to be entering this agreement the costs should be the same because it is the taxpayers’ dollars,” said District 96 school board member David Barsotti, a resident of the Riverside portion of the Hollywood neighborhood.
School board member Stephanie Gunn, a resident of the Brookfield portion of the Hollywood neighborhood, agreed.
“Whatever programming is being offered in our building those classes should be offered at the same cost to residents or non-residents [of Brookfield],” Gunn said.
When Wiberg was informed of the views of the school board members by a Landmark reporter he said that he wasn’t sure if charging non-Brookfielders in District 96 the resident rate would be a problem. Wiberg said he had not been informed by Ryan-Toye of the school board members’ views.
“It didn’t come up in any conversations we’ve had with her or any correspondence, so that is not in the agreement that my board was looking at,” Wiberg said.
Wiberg was asked if he thought that the village board would agree to waive non-resident fees for District 96 residents who don’t live in Brookfield for programs at Hollywood School.
“I don’t know,” Wiberg said. “We’ll react if we have to.”
During a discussion of the draft agreement at the Brookfield Village Board’s committee of the whole meeting on Dec. 13, there was general support for the agreement, with only Trustee Kit Ketchmark questioning the arrangement.
In addition to having a facilities-sharing arrangement with the Riverside Department of Parks & Recreation, District 96 pays half the cost for crossing guards at its schools in Riverside.
Ketchmark didn’t explicitly urge the village to seek the same arrangement, but his message was pretty clear – Riverside shares facilities and District 96 pays for crossing guards. Why isn’t Brookfield getting the same deal?
Wiberg mentioned there’s only one District 96 school in Brookfield. There are four (on three campuses) in Riverside, with multiple dangerous crossing sites needing multiple crossing guards, especially in Riverside’s downtown.
While Barsotti was most skeptical of the agreement, saying the agreement benefited Brookfield more than the school district, other school board members thought that it was good way to resolve the issue.
“It sounds like a good deal to me,” said school board President Dan Hunt. “It’s a lot better solution than we pay them.”
School board member Shari Klyber also supported the facilities sharing agreement.
“This is about community partnership,” Klyber said.
Both the Brookfield Village Board and the District 96 Board of Education are expected to vote in January whether to approve the agreement.
Bob Uphues contributed to this report.