LIBERTY CENTER — A resolution to purchase HVAC equipment for the 1995 varsity gymnasium project, and COVID related matters were discussed by the Liberty Center Local Board of Education on Monday.

The board also approved the execution of a license and donation agreement with the Liberty Center Athletic Boosters, following a very generous donation from the family of Kip Kern for the purpose of installation of a turf field at Rex Lingruen Stadium (see related story, Page A1).

The board passed a resolution declaring urgent necessity and authorizing the purchase of necessary HVAC equipment for upgrades to the 1995 varsity gymnasium. According to Liberty Center superintendent Richie Peters, a problem with the supply chain due to COVID necessitated the emergency purchase.

“We are still in the design phase of the renovations to the weight room/locker rooms and the 1995 varsity gymnasium, and we do not have the guaranteed maximum price at this point, but because of COVID there are certain items within the projects that must be ordered now to stay within schedule,” said Peters. “One of those is the air-conditioning unit we are looking to put into the 1995 gymnasium.

“COVID has the supply chain backed up, so this is something we need to purchase now,” continued Peters. “When it’s time to install, everything we need will be here, so we can get the project completed before the volleyball season. We are planning to use ESSER money to fund the HVAC units in the 1995 gymnasium, as well as the weight room/locker room project.”

Peters gave a COVID update to the board, sharing staff who received a first round of the Moderna COVID vaccine will get their second dose on Friday. The Henry County Health Department will once again be on site at Liberty Center Schools to administer the second round of the vaccine.

“We’re doing it on a Friday, that way if any staff member has any adverse affects, they will have the weekend to work through that,” said Peters. “We certainly want to send our sincere appreciation to the Henry County Health Department, not only for the vaccine clinic, but for everything they’ve done during the pandemic to help us reach our goal of keeping kids and staff safe at school.

“We’re not completely through this (pandemic) yet, but we feel confident with the second round of vaccinations, we will be able to keep everyone in school, in person, for the rest of the school year,” added Peters. “Our intention is to have a prom, with some restrictions, we’re planning on having graduation in the gymnasium with limited capacity ... but our goal is to provide these opportunities, with guidance, so they can be as normal as possible.”

In technology news, the board approved the purchase of 844 Chromebooks and Google Chrome licenses at a cost of $202,193.84 from Dell Technologies.

In other business, the board:

• approved appropriation modification and amended certificate increases.

• offered Laura Myers a contract as a recess monitoring aide, effective Feb. 22 through the end of 2020-21.

• OK’d the updated NwOESC substitute teacher and paraprofessional lists for 2020-21.

• voted for Tim Davis as a volunteer van driver for 2020-21.

• approved Annette Niekamp as an assistant track coach (50%); and Raellen Merritt, as an assistant junior high track coach (50%).

• OK’d several chaperones for the sixth/seventh Camp Willson trip.

• accepted the resignation of Cameron VanArsdalen as Liberty Education Center director, effective July 31; and the resignation of Deborah Waisner, education aide, effective May 31.

• approved advancing Kaitlyn Yungmann, classroom teacher, to the Masters +15 column in the LCCTA negotiated agreement, effective at the start of 2021-22.

• OK’d membership in the Henry County Chamber of Commerce from March 1, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021, at a cost of $100.

• voted for a service agreement with NwOESC for English as a second language instructional assistant service from March 1-June 15 for 2.5 hours per day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

• approved the amended 2021-22 school calendar.

• OK’d a contract renewal for the (free) Basic Educational Technology Membership in NWOET from July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022.

• accepted the following donations: $10,858 from an anonymous donor for the baseball infield; and 2,280 disposable masks from Brondes Ford in care of Karen Engler.

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