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Rain delaying construction start for middle school

BALTIMORE – Construction crews have had complete control of Liberty Union High School for two weeks.

Demolition work is proceeding inside and outside. Sidewalks are being removed outside. “It is moving along reasonably well,” architect Joe Schappa told school board members Monday night. “There is still a lot of work to do,” he added. “Hopefully we are still on schedule.” Students won’t return to school until Sept. 8, giving workers a couple extra weeks to finish the renovation.

Schappa said the recent heavy rains have saturated the pad for the new middle school in some places. “We may have to peel back some of the stone and let some of that soil dry out,” he explained. The pad was completed late last summer to take advantage of a particularly slow construction season.

Working drawings for concrete and steel have been completed and that work can begin when the pad is turned over to the contractor.

Board members formally rehired David Butler as district treasurer. His retirement is effective June 30, but his new 25-month contract begins July 1. His re-employment request was discussed at a special board meeting on May 27. A special meeting has been set for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 21, in the elementary school library to consider a similar request from elementary school principal Kelli Brownfield to be rehired after her June 30 retirement.

In other personnel actions, board members unanimously approved the following supplemental contracts: Anthony Mangette, JV girls basketball; David May, varsity girls basketball; Eric Valentine, varsity assistant football; Ben Factor, instrumental music; Brittany Tisdale, flag corps advisor; and Jay Fant, percussion assistant in lieu of the majorette advisor position.

School lunch prices will be unchanged for at least the first few months. “We’ll see how the first few months go,” Butler told board members. Prices are: Studentreduced price breakfast/lunch – free/$0.40; student breakfast -$1.10; elementary student lunch – $2.15; middle/high school lunch – $2.40; and adult breakfast/lunch – $1.50/$3.00.

Fees schedules for all three schools were approved. The middle school and high school principals said most of their fees are less than last year. Advanced Placement test fees have increased. Elementary fees range from $22 per year in kindergarten to a high of $41.50 in first grade.

Board members also approved a county-wide flexible credit policy that provides an opportunity for a student to earn high school credit in an environment outside a regular classroom. The policy is required by Ohio Department of Education.

“A lot of time was spent on this throughout the county,” Superintendent Paul Mathews said. “We’ll see how it goes.” So far, there have only been a few inquiries.

Following an executive session at the May 27 special meeting, board members unanimously approved a one-year contract with teachers effective July 1. There is no increase in base pay nor change in health care benefits. Teachers will still received step pay increases if applicable. Employees will continue to pay 10 percent of the cost of single medical plans which increased 12.7 percent to $710 per month. Employees pay 20 percent of the cost for family medical plans which increased 12.84 percent to $1,450 per month. Talks with non-teaching employees haven’t started.

Board members had a full house for the recognition portion of their meeting. Scott Potter and Jared Sims were the co-students of-the-month. Potter is the junior son of Sherrie Hutchinson and Ed Alumbaugh. He is on the honor roll and track team. Jared Sims graduated this year with an Honor Diploma. He is the son of Keith and Cathy Sims. He had four years of perfect attendance and two years of all A’s. He was on the golf and swimming teams and a member of FFA, FCA and the National Honor Society.

Junior baseball player Colt Turley was commended for being named Mid-State League Playerof the-Year. The varsity softball team was honored for their Mid- State League and Central District Championships. Softball coach Bill Putnam was applauded for his selection as Mid-State League and Central District Coach-of-the- Year. Sophomore Sara Klopfer was lauded for her selection to the First Team All-Ohio Softball team and junior Megan Vanalmsick was recognized for her selection to the Third Team All-Ohio Softball team. The junior high boys track team and their coach were honored for winning the Mid-State League championship.

The next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, July 12, at the outdoor class at the Liberty Union Land Lab, just east of the elementary school.

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