School facility rental, alcohol consumption idea dropped
Rhinelander school board committee sides with community opinion
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
There will be no consideration of renting out Rhinelander school facilities for events that include alcohol consumption. The Operations and Strategic Planning Committee first discussed the idea during its July meeting when School District of Rhinelander
Superintendent Kelli Jacobi reported that she had been approached by groups interested in renting district facilities for weddings, class reunions and other celebrations. Despite the committee being split on the idea in July, Jacobi was directed to look into the topic further and bring it back to the committee at a future meeting.
In her report Sept. 12, Jacobi told the committee that she was unable to find “anything legal or in policy that it was allowed in any district” in the state, but she has received a lot of “respectful and pleasant” feedback from the community.
“By far the majority [of community members] were requesting that we not move forward with this,” Jacobi said. “A few were businesses people in our community that echoed one of the thoughts shared from when we discussed it before, that it would put us in competition with them. That’s how they viewed it.”
Current school district policy prohibits the use of intoxicants and drugs on school property and directs that no alcoholic beverage or controlled substance be allowed during any function sponsored by the district or at any function occurring on school property. To study the idea further, Jacobi would need direction from the committee to do so.
Committee member David Holperin, who opposed the idea of allowing adults to consume alcohol on school property from the beginning, immediately asked, “Can we drop it then?”
Saying he “doesn’t want to be the first to create that policy,” committee chair Mike Roberts added that would put a “bull’s eye on us for a number of different reasons.”
Though committee member Dennis O’Brien stated that he would “advocate that if the facility is there and you can make it profitable for the district to bring in revenues then I wouldn’t object to it,” the committee agreed to let the issue drop.