LIBERTY CENTER — Liberty Center Mayor Jay Branson gave a special presentation to the Liberty Center Local Board of Education during its meeting Monday.

In addition, superintendent Richie Peters discussed plans for the start of the 2021-22 school year, and gave a projects update.

Branson, who was in attendance at the June meeting to inform the board that a possible new storm sewer line in the village may need to go through the south end of the parking lot near Rex Lingruen Stadium, shared more details about that project.

The mayor explained the village is still in the process of figuring out the best route for the storm sewer project, however, it appears going into the south parking lot is probably the best route. Branson discussed an easement to install the storm sewer there, if that is the best route.

Branson went on to explain the work could take place in the summer of 2022, or possibly 2023, depending on how it all unfolds. The board voted to approve a verbal agreement to not build anything on top of the storm sewer line, if built there. The district can pave that lot, which is stone, after the storm sewer is installed.

In his report, Peters shared that he, and the other superintendents in Henry County, met with Joy Ermie, health director of the Henry County Health Department, last week to discuss the start of the 2021-22 school year.

“As we approach August, we’re starting to field a lot of questions, as most districts are, about how the 2021-22 school year is going to look,” said Peters. “We met with Joy on Thursday, and together we are going to jointly draft a press release that includes information on fall sports and the start of the school year. That will be released soon, so that families know what the year will look like.

“We want people to know that the health of our students and staff is our top priority, and that we will continue to do extra cleaning, it’s just common sense,” added Peters. “The bottom line is we want our students and staff in school, in a safe environment for learning.”

Peters followed with an update on the athletic projects taking place, telling the board that on Tuesday the foundation of the home bleachers will be poured, and that the concrete pad for the visitor bleachers has already been poured. The visitors’ bleachers will be installed on Aug. 12. Meanwhile, the siding of the metal building at Rex Lingruen Stadium is nearly completed, and much progress has been made to the inside of the building.

“Everything is on schedule, so it’s looking good to have everything, if not most everything, finished by the Sept. 3 home football opener,” said Peters.

Approved by the board was a resolution authorizing META to advertise and receive bids on behalf of the board for the purchase of school buses. Peters explained the district would only purchase a school bus, or buses, if the district receives grant money the district plans to seek.

In other business, the board:

• offered Chelsey Kester a one-year contract as middle/high school music teacher, effective for 2021-22; and Tim Reed, a non-certified individual, a one-year contract as the concession manager for 2021-22 at the rate of $9 per hour, for a maximum of 450 hours, plus mileage.

• approved Stacey Dietrich and Hayley Babcock as the district’s on-board instructors at the rate of $20.37 per hour for 2021-22.

• accepted the resignation Trevor Hug, technology coordinator, effective Aug. 13.

• OK’d several volunteer van drivers and other several other substitutes (bus driver, van driver, lunchroom and custodian) for 2021-22.

• voted to increase the substitute custodian pay to $12.50 per hour.

• approved the transfer of $82,011.20 from the permanent improvement fund to the bond retirement fund tax anticipation note.

• OK’d the following student activity budgets for 2021-22: high school student council and H.B. Romaker National Honor Society.

• declared transportation to be impractical for five students, one attending Lial Catholic School, one attending the ANSAT Program and three attending Monclova Christian, and offered payments in lieu of transportation at a rate to be determined by the Ohio Department of Education.

• voted for the following change funds for 2021-22: $5,000, athletic fund; $100, lunchroom fund; and $200, high school fund.

• approved participation in several federal and state grant programs for 2021-22.

• OK’d the following increases to appropriation modifications and amended certificate modifications: $4,951.25, expanding opportunities for each child non-competitive grant; and $393,261.25 for ARP ESSER III.

• approved the services agreement with the Henry County Hospital and Holgate Local Schools, Patrick Henry Local Schools and Liberty Center Local Schools, commencing Aug. 24, for one year, at a cost of $51,770; a one-year contract with Napoleon Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine at a cost of $12,500 for 2021-22.

• OK’d the bus routes for 2021-22.

• voted to send sixth-grade students and teachers to Camp Willson, May 9-11, 2022.

• approved the NwOESC substitute teacher and paraprofessional lists for 2021-22.

• accepted the following donations: $10,000 to the spring sports complex from an anonymous donor; and $7,343 for epoxy flooring for the football stadium restroom from an anonymous donor.

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