Superintendent of Schools Dr. Corbin Witt touched on some of the issues facing JCHS. He noted the current high school building is 60-years old. It has issues with leaks in classrooms and the Commons Area, plumbing that’s deteriorating, the hallways and classrooms are small for the career programs in the academy structure to prepare students for certifications and post-secondary training, there is “hot” asbestos in the building, it is not ADA compliant, the fire alarms are outdated and inadequate, the HVAC system is outdated and inconsistently heats and air conditions rooms.
A question was asked: “Why don’t we know where the school will be built?” Witt’s response was that it will be built west of town, with land purchased at a reasonable price as determined by the Board of Education, and with no tax increase. He reported that the time to take advantage of the current situation is now. Witt said some taxpayers do not want the school district to buy land in advance of the vote on November 7, in case the bond issue does not pass. They feel the purchase of land is premature until a decision has been made.
Witt stated, “With the 47% guaranteed from the State, Heavy Impact Aid, and the use of money from the current mill levy, taxpayers would not have an increase in their taxes and a new JCHS would be built not to exceed $105 million dollars.” The cost of construction and supplies continue to rise, so now is the best time to build.
Voters will cast ballots on November 7th on a bond issue, that if approved would result in the State of Kansas paying 47% of the cost of the project. The final day to register to vote is October 17th.