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The Jefferson College Board of Trustees has approved three expenditures totaling $88,504 on measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in preparation for the start of the fall semester next month.

College officials plan to hold in-person classes when the fall semester starts on Aug. 17, President Dena McCaffrey said July 24.

However, McCaffrey said all plans for the start of the next school year are tentative during the pandemic.

“It’s a fluid situation,” she said. “We will continue to readjust our plans as needed and as recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Jefferson County Health Department.”

The board approved two of the expenditures on July 23.

The first was for $37,566 to buy 24 divider screens for vestibules and nine fitness center divider screens. The vestibule screens will go up at all three Jefferson College campuses – in Hillsboro, Arnold and Imperial. The fitness center screens will be used in the Field House on the Hillsboro campus.

“We’ll use the (vestibule) divider screens at doorway entrances to each building to separate people coming in and going out,” McCaffrey said. “The fitness center screens will separate people using different pieces of equipment.”

The contract for the screens was awarded to Signs, Etc. of Farmington, the lone bidder for the items

Board members also awarded a $25,940 contract to Aalco Athletics of St. Louis, the only bidder, to provide the college Field House with two curtains for its gymnasium. The curtains will be used to create classrooms to aid in social distancing.

“Our intention is, assuming they are delivered as expected, that they will be installed before the fall semester classes begin,” McCaffrey said.

At their May 21 meeting, board members approved the expenditure of $24,998 for 120 Plexiglas screens to protect against coughs and sneezes.

Signs Etc. was the lower of two bidders for the Plexiglas screens, which will be used at transaction counters and desks at all three of the college’s campuses.

“We do plan doing it at all of our locations – Imperial, Arnold and Hillsboro,” said Dale Richardson, the college’s director of buildings and grounds.

He said the Plexiglas screens also are expected to be installed before the fall semester begins.

In all three motions, the board voted 5-0 to approve the expenditures.

Board member Gary Davis attended both meetings, but left early and missed the votes.

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