Church asks to rent Gateway Middle School for Sunday services
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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Logan named interim president of Monroeville chamber
- Still no decision on land bank from Gateway School Board
- Companies seeking Monroeville’s permission for billboards along Parkway East