How room use is scheduled

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A number of Friends have expressed frustration when they find that a particular room they want to use for some event is already scheduled, often by an outside group. The Office and Administration Committee asked me as secretary to describe how I go about assigning rooms to those requesting them.

When someone, whether from inside or outside the Meeting, asks to reserve a room, I first check the calendar to see if the room is available. If the room is free, I will reserve it for an internal “tenant”, and ask an external tenant to submit a Building Use Request Form. When a form comes back, I verify that the room is available and record the use as tentative (“Ttv”) in the calendar. At the same time, I send an invoice for the rental fee to the tenant; when I receive payment, the listing becomes confirmed.

Mt Airy Learning Tree, our largest single tenant, sends its requests for class space several weeks before the beginning of a new term; MALT's request for rooms in February and March came in mid-November. When that list arrives, I go through the same process of confirming the availability of each date on the calendar. (We don't bill MALT ahead of time; at the end of the term they pay us for spaces used.)

How do I assign rooms? Some requests require a particular room: a baby shower for 70 people can only be in the Social Room. Other events might work in a couple of places; I try to put external events in FDS classrooms or the Committee Room before booking the Gathering Room, although there are recurring rentals that do require the use of the Gathering Room because of their size.

That the Gathering Room is everyone's favorite is no surprise to any of us: it is warm and inviting. But it can only have one group meeting in it at a time. And if a group of 3 or 4 Friends asks for it at the same time that a group of 15 wants to be there, I will put the small group in a smaller room and the larger group in the Gathering Room. In response to requests from members of the meeting community, I try to save the Gathering Room so that it is more often available for internal events.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about this process.

Phil Jones, secretary ([email protected])