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General Guidelines for Use of Facilities by External Groups and Individuals Procedure - 70.01.01

College Policy Number/Title:

The following procedure outlines Howard Community College’s (HCC) general guidelines for facilities use by external groups and individuals.

Priorities (exclusive of Smith Theatre)

All indoor and outdoor facilities will be assigned on the following priority basis:

  • First:        Credit and credit-free instructional program;
  • Second:   College-sponsored activities;
  • Third:       Howard County Public School System;
  • Fourth:     Howard County departments or Maryland State agencies;
  • Fifth:        Community groups in Howard County; and
  • Sixth:       All other groups or individuals.

College premises cannot be used for parties, celebrations, recitals, etc. that are essentially private in nature such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, memorial services, and other similar social gatherings.

Applications for Use of Areas

Classrooms, Conference Rooms, The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, The Health Sciences Building, and the Kittleman Room

Requests for the use of classroom space will be submitted on an “Application for Facility Use” form to the facilities use manager. Applications will be received and acted upon in accordance with the priority schedule and should be submitted at least four weeks prior to the activity to the facilities use manager.

Smith Theatre and the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts (HVPA) Center

The instructional and performance venues in HCC’s Horowitz Center, including the Smith Theatre, are not available to external organizations. Horowitz Center facilities are reserved only for HCC events, HCC co-sponsored events, and the events of HCC partner organizations.

A partner organization is one that has been identified by the HCC arts and humanities division or the HCC president’s team as a unique organization within the community, whose patrons and performers will benefit from HCC’s facilities, and whose productions, performances and events will enrich the education of current HCC students or the community the college serves. Partner organizations work with HCC staff and faculty to develop artistic and mission-based relationships.


Gallery exhibits are scheduled by the director of art galleries.  The galleries themselves are not available to outside groups as display areas unless they have gone through the proper application process and have been invited.  The procedures for application are on the art gallery website.  Use of the galleries as meeting sites is at the discretion of the director of art galleries, who will make the decision based on the exhibits in the galleries at that time.

Athletic and Fitness Center

The athletic and fitness center is available for athletic contests and limited practices only, subject to HCC’s own scheduled use.  The pool is only available for limited times on the weekends. Requests for the use of the athletic and fitness center will be submitted on an “Application for Facilities Use” form to the center manager.  Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the activity to the athletic and fitness center manager.

Athletic Fields

Athletic fields are available for match play only.  Any group wishing to use a field will submit an application on an “Application for Facilities Use” form to the center manager. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the activity.


The track is available for track meets only.  Any group wanting to use a field will submit an application on an “Application for Facilities Use” form to the center manager.  Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the activity.

Exterior Spaces such as Parking Lots or the Nature Trail

Requests for the use of these areas and accompanying materials will be submitted to the facilities use manager.  Applications must be submitted at least four weeks in advance of the activity.

Satellite Centers

Satellite centers are dedicated to classroom use and, therefore, are not governed under this procedure.

Burrill Galleria

Requests for use of the Burrill Galleria will be submitted on an “Applications for Facilities Use” form to the facilities use manager. Applications must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the activity.

Charles I. Ecker Business Training Center

The facilities at the Charles I. Ecker Business Training Center serve the college, local businesses, government agencies, and community organizations for meetings, workshops, seminars, small conferences, receptions, ceremonies, and presentations. Rates for services for both corporate clients and non-profit organizations are available on the web or interested parties can contact the Gateway campus administrator. Continuing education and other HCC classes have scheduling priority. The Howard County Government receives complimentary space when available. The Maryland State Government receives complimentary space (with the exception of computer lab space) for up to 55 people if the space is available and the request is within 30 days of the event. If the space is requested more than 30 days before the event, the State is charged a discounted rate.

Other Facilities

Requests for the use of any other college facility, not specifically listed, should be submitted to the facilities use manager at least eight weeks prior to the activity.

Special Requirements for Use

If special requirements exist for the use of a particular facility, necessary supporting documentation by the user will be provided along with the “Application for Facilities Use” form.

Cancellations, Denials, and Emergencies

In the event college activities require a change in schedule or in the event of an emergency, any permits assigned to outside groups may be suspended.  In the event of an emergency, the appropriate facility coordinator or public safety officer will immediately notify the users of the facility.  Every effort will be made to reschedule the group.

The college will not be held responsible for any financial loss resulting, either directly or indirectly, from cancellation of a usage permit.

The following is a list of some conditions under which an event may be canceled or denied:

  • Space has been committed to another group;
  • College regulations prohibit use for purpose requested;
  • Previous misuse of the college facilities by requesting organization;
  • Previous failure to pay for services provided by the college;
  • Any noncompliance with college rules or regulations;
  • Conflicting schedule with a higher priority group;
  • Educational offerings or activities were planning that were not endorsed by the college;
  • Misrepresentation of the group or misinformation provided to the college by the group;
  • Activities that are inappropriate to the present physical development of the college or for which the college is unable to assure proper public safety or maintenance or which interfere with college-approved curricular and extracurricular activities;
  • All use of the college by outside groups shall be automatically canceled when the college must be closed due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions; or
  • Other conditions under which the college finds cancellation or denial appropriate.

Contract for Facilities Use

Facilities use requesters of all college facilities must sign a “Howard Community College Contract for Facilities Use.”  This contract specifies the regulations that all requesters must follow to use college facilities.

The food service contractor may have the right of first refusal for catering in certain buildings as defined in the food service contract.

Usage Charges

No usage charges for conference rooms and classrooms will be charged to governmental departments and agencies of Howard County and the State of Maryland.  However, fees for requested or required services will be charged.  Information on usage fees for all other groups is available from the appropriate area coordinator.  Under certain conditions, a deposit may be required and will be stated at the time of application.

Services and Fees

Requestors must submit an application for facilities use by obtaining a facilities use contract from the appropriate facility coordinator. Inquiries should be made and applications should be requested at least four weeks prior to use (unless otherwise noted).  The completed contract, with deposit and proof of insurance, should be returned at least two weeks prior to use.

The college reserves the right to require groups that use college facilities to pay for the following college services: audiovisual, public safety, grounds, engineering, technicians, and environmental services.  College employees have regularly scheduled work hours.  If work needed for a special event requires an employee to work beyond regular work hours, and places an employee in overtime status, the facility user will be billed accordingly.  Any further information regarding hourly estimates or actual invoices will be provided by the appropriate facility coordinator.

The college may require payment for additional services required as a condition of use but not listed above.  The “Application for Use” form must indicate what services will be required by visiting groups.  The visitor’s signature on the form acts as authority to schedule services and to accept responsibility for payment.

An estimate of the approximate costs will be provided by the appropriate facility coordinator prior to the event.  The fees will be assessed in accordance with the facilities use guidelines.

The college reserves the right to estimate costs and expect payment from the user group for any damages to property or equipment resulting from the scheduled activities of that group. Services cannot be paid in advance of event.  The estimate given to the user is subject to change, and should not be mistaken for the final invoice.

Billing and Payment Procedures


The facility user must submit 50 percent of the estimated room usage fee at the time of application.  This fee is non-refundable unless the college finds it necessary to cancel the event.  Following a scheduled event, the facility user will receive by mail an itemized invoice of costs incurred by the college as a result of the function less the 50 percent room usage fee collected at the time of application.  These invoices are generated on a monthly basis.


Any exception or special request not addressed directly in this document shall be referred to the appropriate college official.

Liability and Insurance

All parties permitted to use college facilities do so at their own risk. Therefore, all parties shall indemnify and hold both HCC and Howard County, Maryland harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, action, liability, and expense whatsoever.

All users must obtain comprehensive liability insurance (bodily injury and property damage, per occurrence with limits set annually by the administration) for usage of the college’s facilities. Users must submit a certificate of liability insurance with their application and contract. The user is required to show both HCC and Howard County, Maryland as an additional insured and certificate holder.

Certificate of Insurance Requirements

Level I - $500,000 per occurrence/$1,000,000 aggregate

-Number of people expected: fewer than 100

-Facilities: 1-3 classrooms or lounges

Level II - $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate

-Number of people expected: between 100 and 800

-Facilities: theatres, Burrill Galleria, Kittleman Room, RCF-400, more than three classrooms

Level III - $2,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate

-Number of people expected: over 800

-Facilities: all aquatic and athletic events, quad, outdoor and lawn areas, or multiple rooms

All aquatic and athletic events must provide coverage at Level III.

Guidelines for determining level of certificate of insurance required:

The above classifications should be considered guidelines, not rigid categories.  After determining the number of people expected to attend and the type of facilities requested, the type of event should be taken into consideration before determining the level of insurance required.  For instance, an outdoor event expected to attract 500 people would need Level III coverage; an indoor event expecting to attract 200 people might also need Level III coverage depending on the types of activities planned.  However, due to the possible liability, some usage requests cannot be approved (e.g., an outdoor carnival with rides, circus events, etc.).  The facilities use manager will provide direction on what coverage is required.


Catering must be arranged for by calling the director of auxiliary services for The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall only.  External caterers may be used in all other campus buildings and must be contracted directly by the user.  All external facilities users must sign and return the beverage agreement with their completed application.


If alcohol is to be served, an alcohol permit or license from Howard County and a host liquor liability insurance policy are required for all non-college sponsored events.  All arrangements for meeting this requirement are the responsibility of the user.  A copy of the alcoholic beverage request form must be submitted with the application for facilities use form.

Public Safety

It is at the discretion of the institution, through the director of public safety, to require additional public safety.  This requirement will be decided on a case-by-case basis.  For each 75 people per event, one additional public safety officer may be required for a four-hour minimum.

Personnel Hours

The number of plant operations and audio-visual personnel needed is dictated by the estimated number of people attending the event, the extent of any requested set up, and the type of event scheduled.

Procedure for Processing Application for Use of a College Facility by Outside Organizations

The requester contacts the appropriate facility coordinator to obtain tentative permission to use a college facility. If no conflict with regulations or existing schedules are known, the regulations, an “Application for Facilities Use” and the “Facilities Use Contract” are forwarded to the requestor with instructions to submit the completed application within the lead times established in section A(2).

The requestor completes, and submits the “Application for Facilities Use,” “Contract for Facilities Use,” “Certificate of Insurance,” and any other necessary documentation (i.e., floor plan and/or payments) to appropriate facility coordinator by the specified deadline.  Checks for payments should be made payable to Howard Community College.

The facility coordinator receives “Application for Facilities Use,” “Contract for Facilities Use”, “Certificate of Insurance,” and any other necessary documentation (i.e., floor plan or payments) and determines that all required information and requested services are given.  The facility coordinator contacts appropriate college offices to check for potential conflicts with other activities.

The facility coordinator contacts various departments involved to determine if required and requested services and technical support can be provided.  Affected departments submit cost estimate for requested services and technical support to facility coordinator.

The facility coordinator submits a confirmation packet to requestor that includes:

  • Cover letter indicating facility use approval, and instructions for returning contract and other forms;
  • Copy of approved “Application for Facilities Use” form noting estimate of costs;
  • Copy of approved “Contract for Facilities Use” form including any amendments;
  • HCC traffic rules and regulations (if not previously distributed);
  • Copy of approved alcoholic beverage request form (if needed); and
  • Copy of beverage agreement (Coca-Cola).

The facilities use is confirmed when all elements above are complete.

The facility coordinator distributes copies of approved “Application for Facilities Use” and “Contract for Facilities Use” to appropriate college departments.  (Directions are on bottom of application.  Note: Business office copy is retained by facility coordinator until after event.)  The copy serves as notice to departments to schedule requested services and technical support.

Changes and Additions:

Changes in requests for technical resources cannot be made within two workdays of scheduled event.  If additional fee-bearing technical requests are required, a revised “Application for Facilities Use” must be signed and submitted by the requestor.  The facility coordinator should contact appropriate offices when changes are requested.

After the scheduled event, the facility coordinator determines the actual services performed and completes the “Actual Costs” section of the “Application for Facilities Use.”  A copy of the application is submitted to accounts receivable in the business office for billing.  The “Contract for Facility Use” includes the terms of billing and remittance.

Policy Manual Review/Revision:  12/06/13b

President's Office Use:  VPAF/VPAA/PRES

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