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Three new board members attend first Johnson City school board meeting

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Dec 3, 2018 at 8:46 PM

Monday evening marked the first Johnson City Board of Education meeting for newcomers Michelle Treece, Robert Williams and Paula Treece after they, along with incumbents Tom Hager and Kathy Hall, pushed through November’s school board election. 

“We welcome our new members to the board,” Chairman Tim Belisle said before each new member was handed their ethics contracts. “I’m looking forward to working with everybody because I do think we’ve got a very high-quality board here.” 

At the meeting, Belisle was selected to serve as chairman of the board once again, while Jonathan Kinnick was selected to serve as vice chairman and Kathy Hall again as secretary. 

Randy Trivett, Johnson City Schools project manager, gave the board an update on the plan to transition Liberty Bell Middle School and Indian Trail Intermediate School to two new middle schools by the 2021-22 school year.

The final comparability study report, which will include facility recommendations and suggestions to “provide equivalent program spaces” and cost estimates for each recommendation, was originally set to be completed in November and proposed to present to the board Monday, but Trivett said officials are still looking into details for parking, athletic fields and playgrounds for both schools. 

“With that added attention to those specific things, they needed a little more time,” Trivett said, adding that the comparability report should be complete by January.

“It is a work in progress. It’s a difficult thing to kind of see how to make the schools both very comparable so that each student that is attending each school is going to receive the same level of service.” 

As for the new Liberty Bell cafeteria and gym, Trivett said the construction is on track to be completed by the spring of 2020. 

“If you all have been out by there, they’re already putting up construction fencing, and they’re getting ready to start grading and tearing up dirt,” he said, adding that this was initially delayed due to rainy weather during the week of Thanksgiving.  

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