LIBERTY CENTER — Liberty Center superintendent Richie Peters presented information to the Liberty Center Local Board of Education about upgrades to athletic facilities in the district during the regular meeting of the board Monday evening.

In addition, the board was given a COVID-19 update and commended student success (see related story, page A7).

Peters shared the facilities committee of Liberty Center Local Schools has been meeting to discuss the needs of the district, following the completion of the K-12 building and the restroom/concessions facility, with a focus on maintaining and updating the existing buildings and grounds.

“After careful analysis, the committee has developed a plan that will utilize the remaining funds from the K-12 project and permanent improvement funds to make the updates,” said Peters. “This will not require new funding or money from the general fund. The permanent improvement fund is designed specifically for improvements in property or assets with an estimated useful life of five years or more, making it the ideal funding source for these projects.

“In an effort to take advantage of the historically low interest rates, the district can borrow against the permanent improvement fund, knowing this revenue source is consistent and reliable,” added Peters. “The projects highlighted by the committee include a varsity gymnasium building update, metal building renovation (at the football facility) and a soccer field project.”

Peters explained that the district would spend approximately $500,000-$700,000 to upgrade the varsity gymnasium building, which is located in front of the K-12 building. The proposed updates include: new ceiling tile, flooring and paint in the common area and hallways, remodeling the restroom and locker rooms, and new ceiling panels, paint and redoing the floor in the gymnasium.

The district would spend approximately $500,000 to upgrade the metal building built in 1973 that currently houses the weight room for all sports and the locker rooms for football. The proposed updates include: renovating the building outside, and updating the weight room and locker rooms inside. The design of the remodel will allow for potential future expansion and the capability to open the facility for future public use.

The district would spend approximately $60,000 in order to create an on-site soccer field at the Liberty Center spring sports complex. The plan includes moving the long jump, high jump and pole vault pit to the east end of the track, and creating a soccer field inside the track.

This will allow the district soccer teams to have a permanent game/practice field, and keep the integrity of the track and field events to the inside of the track for spectators. Currently, the district rents space at Widewater Retreat Center for the soccer programs to play matches.

“We’ve already been in contact with our architects at Garmann Miller (Architects) to help us through the process,” said Peters. “Our goal is to proceed with this process as soon as possible, so that we can be finished in time for football season. The whole idea behind these updates/renovations is to make sure all facilities in the district look and function as equally well as the K-12 building.”

No action was taken during Monday’s meeting, but action is expected be taken in January.

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