Specialist keeps track of space, facilities use for Howard schools


March 12, 2000|By LOWELL E. SUNDERLAND

Name: Charles "Chuck" Parvis

Job description: Community services specialist, Howard County Department of Education. Point man for coordinating use of school fields, gyms, rec rooms and other spaces at 67 facilities, indoors and outdoors. Includes 259 ball fields. He and his secretary process about 15,000 applications annually, totaling more than 135,000 hours of outdoor events and more than 300,000 hours indoors -- for groups that include book clubs, Scouting, youth and adult sports and about 35 churches. Administers a budget of more than $1 million; the department brings in about $600,000 in fees for indoor facilities.

Residence: Kensington

Age: 51

Personal: Eastern Shoreman, born in Dover, Del., grew up in Millington, Kent County. Attended Galena High School, then majored in recreation administration at the University of Maryland. First job was as teen center manager for the Columbia Association. Moved to Howard County schools in 1975to take his current position.

Best thing about your job: "We work with a lot of great people in the community -- every youth-recreation organization throughout the county. They do a terrific job, and remember: They're all volunteers. They care about kids, and they're the backbone of what happens. We have good days and bad days, and sometimes we can't help making people unhappy. But about 99 percent of the time what we do is positive."

Department's greatest needs: "We're maxed out. I just wish we had more fields and more and bigger gymnasiums. We schedule everything we can possibly use that isn't under maintenance or out of service for some other need. Given the demand, we just don't have the luxury of enough space to do a good job of rotating facilities for maintenance. That's especially true at the high school level, where we just don't have enough land. Which means our greatest need is for people to work with us and the Department of Recreation and Parks to take care of what we have, doing common-sense kinds of things like not using fields when they're wet, not driving across fields, remembering that even if their group isn't using a space, some other group, maybe in another season, will need it."

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