| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Church asks to rent Gateway Middle School for Sunday services

By Kyle Lawson
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 7:52 p.m.

Sunday church services at Gateway Middle School could generate revenue for the district, while some officials said it could set an improper precedent.

Representatives of Harvest Bible Chapel, Pittsburgh East, requested to rent a district facility for Sunday services. The initial request was for Ramsey Elementary, but the school board decided this week that Gateway Middle School is a better option. Narrow streets, limited parking and a neighborhood near Ramsey might cause concern for the Monroeville Zoning Board, officials said.

The services would generate about $40,000 for the district per year, officials said.

There is no policy that prohibits a church group from renting a district facility, though some school directors expressed concern with setting a precedent.

“I think we may be opening up something that we may lose control of later,” said school director Jan Rawson. “I think you're going to find you're going to have other religious groups wanting to come in, and you're not going to be able to turn them down.”

Gateway solicitor Bruce Dice agreed with Rawson's assessment.

“There's no question if you do it for one you're going to do it for everyone.”

But it's not as if a religious group would get preference over a school function, said school board President Steve O'Donnell.

According to the rental policy, school activities have first priority and applicants are required to pay for additional custodial or food services.

Officials were directed by the board to offer the church a three-month trial at Gateway Middle School to ensure it doesn't create a conflict with local sporting events and recreation.

The request would require approval from the municipal zoning board, officials said.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Greensburg Central Catholic softball hopes to bounce back in Class A
  2. Pirates notebook: Worley bounces back after rough start
  3. Penguins notebook: Staal insists he never asked for trade to Penguins
  4. First Draft: Beer lovers at CoStar take the time to brew it right
  5. Blast collapses NYC apartments, injures 12
  6. 49ers’ Tomsula proud of Steel City roots
  7. Police arrest 4 in Pitcairn drug investigation
  8. RMU’s Wydo sign with Wheeling; teammate Jacklin gets ECHL tryout contract
  9. Lawrenceville man will stand trial on ‘revenge porn’ charges
  10. Pa. Gas & Electric agrees to $6.8 million settlement of polar vortex claims
  11. Fashion FYI: Style yourself up with Worth New York spring, summer collection in Pittsburgh