LIBERTY CENTER — The Liberty Center Local Schools Board of Education Monday is moving forward with designing approximately $1.2 million in additional campus improvements.

These improvements are for areas outside of the district’s new K-12 facilities, with the goal of updating existing buildings and grounds to match the useful life of the new building. Such items have been discussed since 2019 by the district’s facilities committee, and the varsity gymnasium building and weight/locker room metal building will be addressed, along with the creation of a school soccer field.

On Monday, the board approved resolutions to authorize a contract for professional design services relating to the gymnasium renovation and athletic metal building renovation, as well as to ratify the request for qualifications and evaluation committee related to those projects.

Superintendent Richie Peters said the district will again contract with Garmann-Miller & Associates, the firm it has worked with through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission process and a locally-funded initiative to construct a concession/restroom facility for the stadium. He said the construction manager at-risk process will be used for the projects, and the firm will be able to move forward with a preliminary design.

Peters said the request for qualifications was placed Dec. 23, and need to be out for a period of one month. He said this allows the selection committee to meet for a review at the end of this month and plan requests for a project proposal.

Proposed updates to the varsity gymnasium building include new ceiling tile, flooring and paint in the common area and hallways; remodeling the restrooms and locker rooms; and new ceiling panels, paint and redoing the floor in the gymnasium. The athletic metal building is planned for interior and exterior renovations to include a replacement of the metal sheeting and roof, and new flooring, drywall and lockers.

Any soccer field work likely wouldn’t begin until after the track season concludes in May. Plans for this involve relocating the long jump, high jump and pole vault areas to the east end of the track. This would create space for the soccer field to be located inside the track.

Peters again reported these projects will be funded through money remaining from the district’s K-12 facilities project, along with a tax assumption note. He explained the note allows the district to borrow against its permanent improvements account. This means the district will not need to deplete its general fund for the projects, or go to voters for additional funds.

Peters said the district is working with the firm on the goal of having a company in place for the work in mid-February so work can begin in late February or early March. He said this would give crews a window in-between sporting seasons to complete the projects.

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