Nov 19, 2010
By George Mauzy
Ohio University Event Services has established new usage fees for internal users for the Baker University Center Ballroom effective January 2011, including new and existing reservations.
Event Services has not previously charged internal users a fee to use the Ballroom. Charges have been assessed for production needs such as events requiring specialized lighting or sound. A rental fee for external users of the Ballroom has been in existence since the facility opened and will continue to be applied for those users.
The new fees, for internal (Ohio University student organizations, faculty, and staff) users, were developed to offset the costs of repair and replacement of equipment, furniture, and technology in the building.
Sujit Chemburkar, executive director of event services, said the implementation of new fees was necessary because of recent and future budget reductions to Baker University Center's budget.
"We currently are not funded at a level to systematically set aside an account to repair and replace an inventory of moveable and consumable equipment totaling over $4.2 million," Chemburkar said. "As we continue to operate in a tenuous budget environment, it is imperative that we establish a fund to address the long-term maintenance and equipment needs of the Center."
The internal usage fee is calculated based upon the selection of standardized set-ups which includes set-up and tear down staffing, tables and chairs, and equipment. Should an event planner decide not to use the standardized set-up and instead request a special room layout, a higher non-standardized usage fee will be charged. This would include additional chairs, tables, or more staging than is
provided in the standardized set-up.
Chemburkar said the adopted rates and practices are in line with most of the University's peer institutions, fellow state institutions, and industry standards.
At this time, internal users requesting reservations in the Baker University Center conference rooms, the multipurpose room (Baker 240/242), and the theater will not be assessed usage fees as there continues to be support from the General Fee. However, users will continue to pay for existing production costs within these spaces.
Chemburkar added that Event Services staff will be communicating with users with current reservations to discuss the new fees within the Ballroom and associated costs.
For more information, call Event Services at 740-593-4020.