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Johnson City Board of Education talks building projects update for two middle schools, amends budget

Brandon Paykamian • Feb 4, 2019 at 9:25 PM

Discussion continued at Monday’s Johnson City Board of Education meeting about the progress made on the new Liberty Bell Middle School cafeteria and gym – a major step in the ongoing process to convert Liberty Bell and Indian Trail Intermediate School into two middle schools.

Grading and site work is continuing as scheduled, and contractors are working to order material packages, according to Supervisor of Testing Roger Walk. The construction is still projected to be completed by April or May of 2020 as long as the weather doesn’t delay the process, Walk said. 

“They are moving what you might call ‘major dirt’ at Liberty Bell now,” Walk said. “We hope for really good weather between now and March or April of 2020.” 

Officials also discussed budget amendments for the 2018-19 school year. Included in the budget amendments were three grants to add to the federal budget: an emergency impact grant, an IDEA Discretionary Grant and a new Read to be Ready Summer Grant for South Side Elementary School.

The amendment was an increase of $250,663, bringing the amended federal budget for the school year to $4,961,825.

For the state’s school special projects fund, Johnson City Schools received an extra $163,400 School Safety Grant from the state. The total amended projects budget was $758,254. Both parts of the budget amendment were approved by the board. 

Lake Ridge Elementary School Library Media Specialist Maria LaBarbera also discussed the need to update library books and materials across the district at Monday’s meeting, citing a need to spend about $13 per student to “be competitive locally” and to keep up with changing standards in nonfiction subjects and replace outdated books. 

“I’d really like to see that change,” she told the board.

In other business, 29 teachers from across the district were tenured at Monday’s meeting. For more information on these Johnson City Schools teachers and other school board business, visit www.jcschools.org.  

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