Monday 25 May 2015

School Board turns down church request to use auditorium


Group encouraged to consider Sunset School

    The Clear Lake School Board turned down a request Monday from the newly established Harvest Bible Chapel to conduct its Sunday services in E.B. Stillman Auditorium.
    The board unanimously voted against the request, saying it had concerns about the year-long contract and use of some Middle School classrooms the church was seeking.  The auditorium is situated between the high school and middle school buildings.

    The church had offered to lease the auditorium, beginning this fall, and pay $200 per week, plus custodial fees.  Currently, the church’s worship is held Sunday evenings in a temporary location at “The Warehouse,” 1710 4th Ave. S., Clear Lake, across the street from Serta.
    Board members asked the group to consider leasing the former Sunset School building instead.  Sixth graders were housed at the school last school year while renovations were made at the Middle School. 
    The district had hoped to sell the building and had an accepted offer from Life-Line Resources, however neighbors of the school challenged the legality of the Board of Adjustment’s decision to permit Lifeline’s use of the building as a community center for the at-risk students it serves.   A District Court judge sided with the city, but the matter was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.  Prior to the appeal Life-Line withdrew its offer to buy the school, saying it had to move forward with services in other communities.
    Senior Pastor John Tank and church members told the board it would consider the Sunset School property, but noted the school lacked adequate parking and comfortable seating in its gymnasium.  The auditorium also had superior acoustics which would enhance the church service.