Skip to main content Skip to site navigation

Joint-Use Agreements

SRTS Toolkit





Joint-use agreements are agreements between two or more entities — usually a school and a city or private organization — to share indoor and outdoor spaces like gymnasiums, athletic fields and playgrounds. The concept is simple: share resources to keep costs down and communities healthy.

Too often, children find the gate to their school’s blacktop or basketball court locked after school hours, locking them out of opportunities to be active. Closing off recreational facilities after school leaves many children and families struggling to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. They may live in an area without a nearby park or be unable to afford exercise equipment or a gym membership.  In underserved communities, schools may serve as the only safe place for residents to recreate. Joint-use agreements provide an opportunity to reduce a person’s need for additional transportation and increase physical activity.

Joint-use makes physical activity easier by providing kids and adults alike with safe, conveniently located and inviting places to exercise and play.

Besides making sense from a health perspective, joint-use agreements make sense financially because they build upon existing community assets.  Sharing existing space is less costly and more efficient than duplicating the same facilities in other parts of the community. 

When a community employs mixed use development it increases opportunities for joint uses of school campuses. Local government and schools can work together to optimize facilities for students and the community.

A population growth spurt in the early 1990’s left the residents of Merced without adequate parks and recreation facilities. Joint-use agreements allowed the City of Merced and the Merced High School District and the Merced City School District to develop a partnership that continues to provide residents, students, and community groups with places to gather and be physically active. The partnership has grown beyond standard joint-use facility agreements. The city and the school district collaborate on grant opportunities, work to revitalize blighted facilities, and develop new recreational spaces for the enjoyment and benefit of all.  See more: City of Merced – Partnering to Provide Physical Activity Through Joint Use

The City of Santa Ana joined with the Santa Ana Unified School District in 2002 to allow the high school to use a city park during school renovations, and allow the City to host recreation and other activities at the school during non-school hours. See more: Santa Ana Joint-Use Agreement and Covenant


Log in