2010-01-23 / News

Middle school plans ready for bids

By Charles Prince

Site preparation for Liberty Union’s new middle school was completed last fall. The oddshaped object in the center of the photo is the footprint for the new school. A portion of the elementary school is visible in the upper right hand corner. Beacon aerial photo by Charles Prince. Site preparation for Liberty Union’s new middle school was completed last fall. The oddshaped object in the center of the photo is the footprint for the new school. A portion of the elementary school is visible in the upper right hand corner. Beacon aerial photo by Charles Prince. BALTIMORE – Bids to construct the new middle school are expected to go out next week.

The first phase of the high school renovation is going according to the plan, Superintendent Paul Mathews told school board members at their Jan. 11 meeting. “Phase 1 is not easy,” he added. “It is the connector between two buildings. The staff has been very flexible.”

The second phase includes one half of the second floor classrooms and possibly the gym and athletic hallway, Mathews said. The gym has commitments up to April 1 and its renovation could force graduation to another site, he said.

In other board business, Mathews presented certification of appreciation from the Ohio School Board Association to board members. Members were more interested in Mathews’ personal gift – two pieces each of his famous homemade cherry pie. Board members have a total of 63.5 years of service:

• Art Brate-18 years;

• Joe Farmer-18 years;

•Shawn Hochradel-6 months;

• John Hutton - 7 years; and

• Mike Raver-20 years.

“We consider it a privilege to serve this community and the young people,” Brate responded.

The students-of-the-month are Quinton Cook and Heather Hite.

Cook is the son of Brad and Amy Cook. The senior is on the honor roll, received Academic All-Ohio recognition, plays varsity golf and is a FFA member.

Hite is the daughter of Randy and Tanya Quilliam and Kevin Hite I. The senior has a 4.0 gpa, is a member of the National Honor Society and chairs the Foreign Language Club.

First grade teacher Mindy Beery was chosen by her fellow teachers as teacher-of-themonth.

During the annual orga- nizational meeting, Brate was elected board president. Raver was elected vice president.

In his report, Treasurer David Butler said some of the district’s funds were being moved from the state’s Star Ohio Fund to CDARS account at Fairfield National Bank. Star Ohio is currently paying .06 percent interest compared to .25 percent in the CDARS account. CDARS pools the purchase of federally insured certificates of deposit.

Mathews told board members that the district’s recent outside audit came back with no specific recommendations. “That’s outstanding,” he said, congratulating Butler for the great report.

Board members accepted Christi Bachman’s resignation as vocational agriculture teacher effective Jan. 19. Christopher Turner was hired to complete the remainder of the school year. He is an OSU and Ashland University graduate with Bachelor of Science and Master of Administration degrees.

Mathews outlined his continuing discussions with the Columbus AIDS Taskforce. Some onetime federal money is available for testing in Fairfield County. The taskforce offered to present some awareness programs for middle and high school students plus testing for students. He told board members that the awareness presentations don’t include anything more than what is already in the district’s health curriculum.

Mathews is concerned about confidentiality for any testing done at school and has raised the possibility of using the nearby Basil Fire District station with the fire chief.

He is also concerned about provisions in Ohio law that the parents of children 13 or older do not have to be notified about testing. “We don’t want to jeopardize relations with our parents,” he said. “I’m very pro-parental involvement,” Farmer added. Hutton agreed.

Mathews expects the district will announce and publicize the availability of testing in the community. “We want to be helpful to our community and students,” he explained.

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