LIBERTY CENTER — The Liberty Center Local Board of Education was presented information about the district being part of a possible regional levy for special education and safety, heard a presentation by the Liberty Center Athletic Boosters president, and heard about the possibility of a State of Ohio Liberty Center Local Schools license plate on Monday evening.
In his report to the board, Superintendent Richie Peters shared that a group of independent school districts in Henry, Fulton, Defiance, Williams, and possibly Lucas County, would agree to pool their valuations to request a County Finance School District Levy to support special education programs and school safety. It would be a 5-year, 1.95-mill renewable levy, with Liberty Center receiving approximately $300,000 per year, which is based on the district’s valuation.
“Local districts (like Liberty Center) are automatically in, meaning if we don’t want to be a part of it, we would need to opt-out and vote on that at our March meeting,” said Peters. “Between now and the March meeting (treasurer/CFO) Jenell (Buenger) and I will meet with the finance committee and see how it fits into our overall picture, as far as our operating budget, and what we could do with that money for special education and safety.
“When we go through the numbers and see how it fits into our overall picture, our existing levies and so forth, we’ll provide more information at the board meeting in March,” added Peters. “At that time, we can make the determination if we want to be a part of the levy, or opt out. This would go on the ballot in November for voters in each of those counties.”
Peters also updated the board on the ongoing facilities project, telling the members that the project will not be closed out until everything that needs attention or to be fixed, is done. Peters shared that some of the big items that need to be addressed are cracking in the floor of the middle school gym and a leaky roof in the north part of the building because of a build-up of ice. The Boot security system has now been installed.
Introduced to the board was Liberty Center Athletic Boosters president Mark Bly, who shared concept drawings of an expanded concession stand at the football stadium. Bly shared that the boosters would pay for the updated structure, with the help of donations, that would increase safety, help secure inventory, and have more windows available to purchase concessions. A pavilion with seating, and a new roof with overhangs also would be included.
“This building would improve our ability to serve more people before the game and at halftime, and by adding more windows it would help with the traffic flow from the stadium,” said Bly. “The covered pavilion would give people a nice place to gather, it would give the boosters a whole lot more room to work with, and it would help secure inventory. It’s a major investment, we estimate about $20,000, but we have people lined up to donate already.”
The superintendent also announced that the senior citizens breakfast, which was postponed due to inclement weather in January, will be held Thursday at 8:30 a.m. During the breakfast, a send-off will be held for the varsity gymnastics team that qualified for state competition this weekend.
Liberty Center Elementary principal Kelly Hartbarger shared that the PTO organization has been working to take the necessary steps to have a Liberty Center Local Schools license plate made through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
In order to do so, 150 signatures must be collected, an application must be completed, and local state representatives would be asked to take the plate application before the general assembly for a vote. Once the process is approved, the license plate featuring the Liberty Center Local Schools logo could be purchased at any BMV in Ohio. A survey will be taken March 7 during The Red Carpet Event (Family Literacy Night) to see how much a plate should cost.
In other business, the board:
• okayed the 2019-20 school calendar. The first day of school begins Aug. 21, with graduation slated for May 24, 2020.
• approved the softball camp fund student activity budget.
• accepted the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorized the necessary tax levies for certification by the county auditor.
• ratified the revised foundation deduction agreement with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NwOESC) for special education services for fiscal year 2019. The foundation reduction amount shall be revised to an annual amount of $546,509.
• voted for several appropriation modifications and amended certificate increases.
• approved the following donations: $775 from Napoleon Physical Therapy for sports physicals: $859.83 from Liberty Center Schools Tradition of Pride for the building fund; and $500 from Henry County Bank for the Senior Citizen Breakfast.
• okayed an overnight trip for FFA students and teacher to the FFA convention in Columbus, May 2-3; and an overnight trip for the varsity baseball team to Wide Water Retreat Center, March 8-9.
• voted for Stan Criswell to begin a seven-year term on the Liberty Center Public Library’s board of trustees, from Jan. 1, 2019-Dec. 31, 2025.
• approved Joseph Thanasiu as a graduate of Liberty Center Local Schools, effective Feb. 28.
• offered Heather Garretson a continuing contract as a secretary, effective March 22; offered Tyler Sharpe, a non-certified individual, a one-year supplemental contract as assistant junior high track coach.
• advanced Kaitlyn Yungmann, classroom teacher, to the Masters column on the LCCTA negotiated agreement salary scheduled, effective Jan. 22.
• accepted the retirement/resignation of Barbara Maunz, luchroom cashier, effective May 30. Maunz has served the district for 32 years.
• rescinded the assistant track coach (50 percent) supplemental contract of Kara Estelle on Jan. 10.
• approved a depository agreement with the Hamler State Bank, for a period of five years, effective March 16, 2019-March 15, 2024 for the deposit of interim funds.