Free Congregation of Sauk County


Use of Facilities Policy

In both its mission statement and its statement of purpose, The Free Congregation of Sauk County emphasizes its commitment to be a cultural resource for the greater community in which we live and to be of service to the world. Built in 1884, Park Hall was intentionally made larger and with more amenities than the number of its members warranted. It saw itself as a community cultural center, and, throughout its heyday – up to the end of the First World War – it served that purpose fully and admirably. Over the last twenty-five years, FCSC has re-established itself as a vibrant free religious congregation and as a welcoming place for community members to see plays, hear music, attend talks and lectures, hold weddings, and host other important rituals and special events. We are committed to doing even more in the years to come. At the same time, we realize that we inhabit an historically important building that still stands strong but which must be tended sensitively and with special care. It does not have “all the modern conveniences”, such as air conditioning – at least not yet – and may not be the place for just anyone to hold an event. And, like many of Sauk-Prairie’s venerable buildings and institutions, the costs of upkeep continue to increase. Nevertheless, as we mark the beginning of Park Hall’s 135th year this August, and the congregation’s 166th anniversary this October, we are determined to continue to see ourselves as a friend, neighbor, resource, and refuge to everyone and anyone in our wonderful and diverse community. June, 2018


Use of Facility Priorities

Facility use requests by persons, groups, and organizations shall be deliberated, acted upon, and assigned charges according to the following:


Priority One Use

FCSC committees and groups under the coordination of the Board of Directors or the FCSC Administrator may use the facilities for their regular meetings, programs, and events with no fee. A security/damage deposit may be required in the event of higher risk situations. Such users are not required to complete a Facility Use Agreement unless requested by the Board or the Administrator.


Priority Two Use

FCSC members and pledging friends/supporters may use the facilities without charge for rites of passage and certain other special events (see Priority One and Two, below) provided that they have been members in full standing for at least 90 days prior to their facility use request and have made a pledge for the current year, OR have fulfilled a pledge for the previous year. Some of these uses may require a Facilities Coordinator fee and/or security/damage deposit as listed in the Facility Use Fee Schedule.


Priority Three Use

Groups not affiliated with the FCSC but whose purpose and principles are compatible with those of the FCSC may arrange for use of FCSC facilities for a single event with the approval of the FCSC Administrator and the Facilities Coordinator, provided that their use does not interfere with regular Congregation programming. These groups must complete a Facility Use Agreement. Basic facility use fees, additional fees, and security/damage deposit will apply. At the discretion of the FCSC Administrator and/or the Board of Directors, the facility use fees may be reduced – or, in rare instances, waived – for groups with limited funds or for other special circumstances. (See, also, Long Term Use Requests, below.)


Priority Four Use: Businesses and Private Parties

Businesses and other private or private-sector parties may arrange for use of FCSC facilities on a single event basis through special arrangement with, and approval by, the FCSC Administrator and the FCSC Board of Directors. These parties must complete a Facility Use Agreement. Facility use fees will apply.


Restricted and Prohibited Uses

The use of FCSC facilities by a partisan political group is prohibited unless the purpose and principles of the group are clearly within the stated purpose and principles of the FCSC and the purpose of the event is wholly or in large measure educational or informational rather than polemical or incendiary; or whose manner of presentation is blatantly directed to promote a specific electoral outcome. (Example: Because the FCSC has established itself, by a vote of the Congregation, as a “Welcoming Congregation”, an event organized by Wisconsin Won’t Discriminate may be permissible as long as it is informational and/or educational, appeals to reason rather than to emotion, does not limit or restrict participation, and allows for an open forum for questions and discussion.)

In keeping with the 166-year-old Free Thought tradition of the FCSC, the use of FCSC facilities for free and open, non-partisan discussions of political issues is both allowed and encouraged. Moreover, and in keeping with that same 166-year-old tradition of full disclosure, open debate, and free discussion, even partisan events or presentations may be allowed if and only if there exists an easily identifiable person, group, or party that has an opposing or dissenting view AND that person, group, or party is a) notified in advance of the original event, and b) invited to use the same or comparable FCSC facilities, under the same terms and within a reasonable amount of time since the original event, to present its point of view. (For example: a “listening session” with challenging Democratic candidates for State Assembly and State Senate might be allowable if and only if the Republican incumbents were notified in advance and invited to hold their own “listening session” in such manner and at such time as does not afford them a discernible advantage or disadvantage.)


Long-term Use Requests

Groups wishing to lease FCSC space on a continuing long-term basis must receive prior approval of the Board of Directors. Every effort should be made to ensure that this use of space does not have a deleterious effect on the regular programs and activities of the Congregation.



Once an event has been scheduled, it is “on the calendar” and will not be canceled by the FCSC to accommodate an event with a higher priority. (The one exception is an “emergency” congregational program or event.) If a scheduling conflict inadvertently occurs, the FCSC administrator will notify both groups promptly and involve both parties in efforts to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction.


Free Congregation of Sauk County: Use of Facilities Fee Schedule

Please refer to “Use of Facility Priorities” for definitions of the various categories of users.


Time Period of Use 

Unless stated otherwise, the fees listed in the table, below, include use of the designated area(s) for special large events, such as a wedding, as well as for shorter and/or lower-impact events, for a four-hour maximum time period. Additional fees will be assessed for time periods that exceed this four-hour maximum.


Priority One and Two

No charge, but a security deposit is required. However, members should be aware that the use of our facilities for a marriage, a rite of passage, a family reunion, or for a similar large event sometimes involves considerable expense for the Congregation. In such instances, all members, friends, supporters, and other groups will be expected to pay the Facilities Coordinator’s hourly wage, if involved, and to consider making an appropriate donation to the congregation.


Priority Three and Four

PARK HALL – one-time events


Priority 4


Priority 3

Wedding w/rehearsal/reception

Includes opening for rehearsal and use of bldg for 8 hours*



* More than 8 hrs: charged @ $50/hr.

Small wedding/rehearsal: ≤ 4 hrs.



Wedding, no rehearsal: ≤ 4 hrs.



Other Special Celebratory or Commemorative One-Time Events: determined by the Board of Directors

BOD decides

BOD decides

Hall and Environs: other one-time events

Upstairs (Main) Hall only

$100.00 1st hr. (then $50/hr.)

$60 1st hr. (then $30/hr.)

Community Hall & Kitchen only

$ 75.00 1st hr. (then $50/hr.)

$50 1st hr. (then $25/hr.)

Main Hall - Community Hall - Kitchen ≤ 4hrs.



Park Hall (all) & Grounds ≤ 4hrs.



Grounds & Bandstand ≤ 4 hrs.


$ 65.00

Grounds only ≤ 4 hrs.


$ 50.00

PARK HALL – recurring events

(weekly/monthly classes, mtngs, etc.)




15-minute leeway on hours after the first, i.e. if use extends more than 15 minutes over the hour, a full hour will be charged. If rent is pre-paid, the overage charge will be deducted from the security deposit.

Additional Fees (for all Priorities):

· Security/Damage deposit for Receptions, $200 maximum

parties, other high-activity events

· Security/Damage deposit for other events $100 maximum

· Parlor Grand Piano $50 for use, unless waived; $30 more on security deposit

· Sound System $50 for use; $30 more security dep.

· Epson LCD $30 for use; $30 more security dep.

· Facilities Coordinator Fee $16.50 per hour for any event requiring > 2hrs. of FC’s time