Junction City High School has been using the academy style of education for 18 years in a building not completely designed for that purpose. Now a new high school is being designed with the academy structure in mind, but also with flexibility to accommodate future changes in education.
At a Monday evening Board of Education meeting Board President Tom Brungardt opened what became at times a tense discussion among other Board members and staff, when he posed the question about whether they were settled on building to the academy structure. After a lengthy and at times contentious discussion the Board voted 5-1 to allow building the structure with the academy system. Brungardt cast the lone no vote.
Board member David Walker made the motion early in the discussion. “Well there seemed to be some concern about which style of school we’re building. I thought we already voted on that but there seemed to be some question about whether we were going to use that system or not, the academy system. I was just trying to clarify that the architectural firm is designing a building that can be used for the academy system. Evidently it was needed.” The work will continue to plan for an academy structure, although there will be flexibility in the building.
Brungardt noted, “My point was that we’re building a building to meet a specific instructional style. Instructional styles change, I don’t think we should be doing that. I think we should be building a building that’s a little more flexible than that.”
Brungardt explained his point further, “My main concern was the science rooms, whether we put the science rooms all together or whether we have science rooms in each academy. I think it would be better to have science rooms all together, but the Board voted to put science rooms in each academy instead.”
JCHS Principal Melissa Sharp pointed out to the Board that Junction City High School is further ahead over any other schools on the academy system, and that this is the future of education. The academy system has been in place at JCHS since 2000, and planning for it began a few years before that.