Trustees approve track for LHJH

Liberty Hill school trustees Monday approved construction of a track between Liberty Hill Junior High and Liberty Hill Intermediate schools at a cost of $265,229.

The four-lane track, which will be constructed by Hellas Sports Construction of Liberty Hill, will be for non-competition use.

Superintendent Rob Hart said the true price tag for the track was more than $419,000, but the district had construction contingencies that helped reduce the price. Costs were also reduced by using school-owned water wells to irrigate the facility, and by hauling away and storing dirt during construction. The track will not be lighted or fenced.

Sean Stephens of Bartlett Cocke, the contractor for the project, said the track will look similar to the high school track, but will be a different level of thickness as it will only be utilized for practice. The track will be located between the two schools adjacent to the current football practice field that is parallel to State Highway 29.

Construction should begin March 1 and be complete by May 1. The project was added to the Junior High renovations authorized in the 2010 bond election.

Also Monday, Trustees authorized Hart Monday to seek a state waiver for a missed instructional day Feb. 7 due to inclement weather.

Hart explained that the school district built in two days in the school calendar to make up instructional days cancelled due to bad weather. If more days are missed, districts can apply for a waiver to avoid having to make up the missed day.

The state has asked school districts to wait until after March 1 to apply for waivers. The Board of Trustees authorized Hart to seek a waiver for additional days should they be needed. Hart said February has traditionally been the month for bad weather days.

The Board held its regular meeting at Liberty Hill High School in order to recognize students from the Intermediate and Junior High schools who participated in recent UIL academic competitions.  Those students were featured in the Feb. 6 edition of The Independent. Some attended the meeting Monday where they were recognized for their achievements.

Following a 44-minute executive session, the Board extended the employment contracts of Athletic Director Jerry Vance, and central office and campus administrative staff. The contracts, which do not have salaries attached, are for one-year terms.

In other matters, the Board approved the appointment of Chief Financial Officer Frank Watson and Business Manager Jennifer Hanna as the district’s investment officers. The Board also approved the district’s investment policy, which is reviewed and approved annually.

Hart informed the Board that progress is being made on the design of the new school administration building. Central administrative offices will move into the former Intermediate School campus as part of the 2010 bond package.

He also announced that LHISD had recently been recognized by the Association of General Contractors for the construction of the new high school. The district was selected to receive the construction award for the efficiency and design of the new campus.

Following the meeting, Board members and administrators were the dinner guests of the high school’s Culinary Arts program.

Students developed the menu, prepared the food and served school officials.