2011-08-13 / News

It’s going to close on whether new middle school is ready

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE - “We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” architect Joe Schappa told Liberty Union- Thurston School Board members Monday night.

The comment was part of his status report on the new middle school. Contractors missed the first deadline for the critical life safety inspection, Schappa reported. That inspection is rescheduled for Thursday, August 11.

The middle school gym won’t be ready when students return for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 31. Humidity in the gym has been too high to install the wooden floor. Doors, isolating the gym from the rest of the school, were installed Monday and humidity was already falling. But once it is down, there is three to four weeks of work to do in the gym.

“The kitchen is going to be a tight one,” Schappa reported. The cafeteria has been used as the overflow storage area, so Schappa is pressing to get it cleared out. Eighty percent of the kitchen equipment is on site, but deliveries continue to be delayed. Technology equipment was expected Tuesday with furniture being delivered next Monday.

Work on the southbound Ohio 158 turn lane for the elementary/ middle school complex should start this week.

While board members had some questions, there was no discussion about pushing back the start date for middle school students or having them return to the old middle school.

Schappa said drawings and specifications are complete for the middle school demolition project with the exception of some survey data for stormwater drain elevations. AEP agrees that they own the transformers in the basement and have agreed to remove them. Removal will have to be closely coordinated with demolition since the transformers are so large. Bids for the demolition project should be out in a couple of weeks. The middle school auditorium was the sixth and final phase of the high school renovation project.

Schappa said the pad for the new administration building has been poured and framing should start mid-week. He expects it to be closed in within a couple of weeks.

Plans for the new maintenance building have been revised as has the budget. Schappa said just one issue remains with the licensing authority and it will be resolved. Bids should go out next week.

In other business Monday night, board members unanimously approved a revision in board policy that will allow some home school students to go to school part-time. The revision reads, “Students in grades 7-12 who are excused from attendance at school by reason of home instruction in accordance with the State Board of Education Regulations may enroll in the District on a part-time basis. Such students, who maintain enrollment in at least two ‘core’ academic courses, are eligible to participate in any of the student services, programs or activities of the District. (Note: Students participating in school athletic programs or teams must also comply with all Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines, including eligibility regulations and bylaws.”

The revised Home School Instruction policy was part of a large package of board policy revisions approved Monday night. For example, only licensed health professionals, administrators and teachers who have completed “a drug administration program conducted by a licensed health professional” can administer prescription drugs to students. Students can possess inhalers for asthma provided they have written approval from their physician and parent or “other caretaker.”

In personnel issues, board members rehired Candace Berry after her retirement to the now half-time position of family and consumer science teacher. Ken Schaefer was hired to fill the now half-time position of high school technology teacher.

Board members approved a supplemental contract for Marcus Alford as JV golf coach. John Phillips and Eric Valentine were approved as volunteer coaches for high school golf and football respectively.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Spet. 12, in the high school library.

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