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Boone County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Lisa Beck, Ed.D. told board members on Sept. 27 that a compliance plan developed by the school system was accepted by the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights regarding a complaint filed regarding Van High School girls softball facilities.

BOONE COUNTY — Boone County Schools has reached a resolution agreement with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights regarding a complaint that was filed against the school system.

As reported by the Coal Valley News in February, the school system began negotiations at that time to satisfy a complaint that alleged that Boone County Schools has discriminated against female student-athletes at Van Junior-Senior High School and at Scott High School regarding the provided practice, competitive and dressing-room facilities.

The individual who filed the original complaint later removed Scott High School from the case, according to school officials.

Interim Superintendent Lisa Beck, Ed.D., outlined the compliance plan for the board during a special session on Sept. 27. Beck said the plan has been accepted by the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.

“Regarding the Van softball field — that was a four-page report that was due on Sept. 10,” she said. “This was submitted (along with photos) to the office of civil rights on Sept. 10, and — backing up — on Aug. 16, I submitted another evaluation report and I wanted to share these documents with you. The compliance report outlines how we’ll address the locker room for the softball team, a press box for the softball team and making some adjustments to the concession stand.”

Beck detailed some of the improvements that will be made by the school system.

“The home dugout will have the roof removed there and have a second story there — a wooden structure that will have a set of steps right off of the first baseline,” Beck stated. “Then, the locker room will see the current boys locker room and fieldhouse split down the middle. The doorway on the girls’ side will enter into a coaches office, which will give some privacy there and from there you’ll leave the coaches office and go into the locker room for the ladies.”

She added, “Where the showers are now for the boys, that will become restrooms for the ladies and then we’ll move out the lawn equipment and turn that into locker room space for the boys and purchase secure storage for the lawn equipment.”

The plan will be executed in two phases. In October, contractor bids will be accepted on the first phase of the project with a goal of the girls having their locker room open for the spring 2022 softball season.

In June 2022, phase two will begin regarding the press box and changes to the concession stand. The concession stand and public restrooms will serve both the baseball and softball facilities, which sit adjacent to each other.

The resolution agreement states that the entire project is to be completed by December of 2022.

“We are on track and have this outlined in a phase one and phase two plan,” Beck added.

Boone County Schools will meet again for a regular session at 6 p.m. on Oct. 4. The board’s meeting schedule can be found at boonecountyboe.org. The board meets in its chambers on the second floor of the operations complex in Foster.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at 304-307-2401.

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