LHISD Board approves design for administration building

By SHELLY WILKISON

Liberty Hill school trustees on Monday approved the design of the new administration building — the final construction project in an $86 million bond package that was approved by voters in 2010.

Central administrative offices, which are currently housed in a two-level building on State Highway 29. will move to what was formerly the campus of the Liberty Hill Intermediate School on Forest Street. The campus was vacated last summer when the school district opened a new high school campus, allowing the junior high and intermediate schools to move into larger facilities.

With Board approval Monday, the project will now be put out to bid. The architectural firm anticipates  construction will be complete by December 2014 and administrative staff will begin moving into the renovated facility in spring 2015.

The main building will be home to all of the administrative offices, including the Superintendent’s Office, and departmental offices such as curriculum and instruction, special education, training, records and the business office. The district technology department will be housed in the building that was previously the cafeteria and classrooms space.

The gym is not part of the renovation project and will remain in its current condition.

Included in the new administrative building will be a Board Room, which will seat more than 50 people for school board meetings. Administrators say the room, which is the former school library, will have about three times the amount of space as the current board room. The room will have a public entrance separate from the main administrative office entrance.

The current administration building will be sold after the transition to the new facility is complete.

Also Monday, the Board approved the official school calendar for the 2014-2015 academic year. School begins August 26 and ends June 4, 2015. Students will attend class 177 days and teachers will work 187 days.

In other business, the Board adopted a number of policy updates as recommended by Texas Association of School Boards in response to legislation passed in 2013. Among those were changes to the graduation requirements that become effective with the next freshman class. Those changes, which were approved by trustees in March, were reported in detail in a story that appeared in the March 21 edition of The Independent and is available online.

Other policy updates reflect legislative changes to the state’s accountability system, tax exemptions for disabled veterans, unemployment issues, food service requirements, policies regarding service animals, and more. Hart said some of the updates resulting from legislative changes do not impact Liberty Hill at the present time.

The Board also voted to approve a waiver for Accelerated Instruction. Curriculum Director Claudeane Braun said the waiver allows the district six weeks into the new school year to provide remedial instruction to students who fail to meet passing scores on standardized tests after multiple retakes during the summer.

Assistant Band Director Andrew Anker, who has been working on a temporary contract, was given a permanent contract for employment Monday.

Board President Clay Cole was not present Monday, and Trustee David Nix presided over the meeting.