By Ashley Gibbard
Holt Journal staff reporter
The Holt Public School District and the community of Holt have a very unique relationship. They share facilities without exchanging money. According to Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis, they are in the 1 percent of communities in the nation that do this.
“I dare you to find another community that does this, except for extremely small towns where they don’t have a choice,” Davis said. “The schools and township coordinate as much as possible, we try to work together with no money exchange.”
“If we need the auditorium, they check their schedules and let us have it. If the school wants to use any of the parks for an event, we let them have it. The only time money is exchanged is we do mow their lawns and they pay us a little.”
Davis said that most schools and communities across the nation just exchange money in a vicious cycle and it doesn’t do anybody any good.
According to the Holt Public Schools Shared Services Compliance Report, the school and Delhi Township have been working together since 1977 when they signed a combined maintenance agreement.
Also according to the report, they share the parks and recreation areas in the township, the auditorium in the main campus of the high school, as well as partnering on projects such as installation of a Fiber Network to serve Delhi Township facilities, sidewalk installation and increased pedestrian crossing and they also share grounds keeping costs for the park and recreation areas.
In total these joint ventures have saved the school $53,000.
The Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak says the schools and community as a whole have a great and unique relationship.
“Obviously we can’t please everybody, but Holt Public Schools is the community and vice versa,” Hornak said. “Everybody in the community stays involved, even after their children graduate. They come to sporting events, school performances and board meetings.
“Even people who don’t have children want the best for the students and the greatest thing we can give them is a school and community that works well together. That’s also why we try to work well with the township, in sharing facilities as well.”
Tim Wilson, whose son attends Holt High School, likes that the school district and township share facilities.
“Anything that saves the school money is a good idea,” Wilson said. “I think its awesome that the school can use the parks and recreation areas at no charge.”
Deborah Pawley, a local resident still stays involved with the schools, she goes to all the school board meetings, football games and plays even though her youngest child graduated in 2003.
“My family moved her in 1988 just so our kids could go to Holt public schools,” Pawley said. “I’ve been on the rollercoaster ride that this school district has taken for the last 25 plus years, I get to know all the teachers and I love them and the work they do.”
“I feel as a community member it’s important to show continued support for the education and well-being of the students and staff at the schools,” she continued. “It makes our community stronger when we all rally for the same thing.”