Dr. Witt spent time this morning with Mat, Q, and Christine of the district podcast, “The connectED Radio Podcast” while preparing to make several thousand phone calls to parents and staff members reminding them that voter registration ends on October 17th with a bond election on November 7th.
Dr. Witt also spoke with members of the JC Breakfast Optimist Club where he discussed district accomplishments and the JCHS Way Forward bond. The club provided the following notes.
JC Breakfast Optimist Club Meeting Summary – October 11, 2017
Dr. Corbin Witt, Superintendent of Geary County USD 475 Schools, was the guest speaker. Dr. Witt shared some “Points of Pride” with the group, which include weekly podcasts from the Communication Department; an updated website with articles attached; a partnership from a grant to work with the KSU Polytechnic School in Salina and teachers in USD 475 to do training on how to implement technology into the classroom; being recognized as an “ALICE” trained staff for safety and security for the second year in a row, which is the first time a district has received this recognition; Sheridan and Eisenhower Elementary Schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools for the second time.
Dr. Witt also talked about the “JCHS Way Forward” information. Details are available online or in print form from the Devin Center on Eisenhower Street. “The current Junction City High School” is 60 years old. The building has issues with leaks in classrooms and the Commons Area, plumbing that is 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and post-secondary training, there is “hot” asbestos in the building, it is not ADA Compliant, the fire alarms are outdated and inadequate, the HVAC systems is outdated and inconsistently heats and air conditions rooms and other issues.”
A question was asked: “Why don’t we know where the school will be built?” Dr. Witt’s response was that it will be built west of town. If voters believe there is a need for a new high school and it will be west of town, with land purchased at a reasonable price as determined by the elected Board of Education members and all of this with no tax increase, the time to take advantage of the current situation is now. 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.
“With the 47% guaranteed from the State, Heavy Impact Aid, and the use of money from the current mil 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 continues to rise, so now is the best time to build.
Dr. Witt encourages everyone to register to vote on or before October 17 and the VOTE on November 7.
Next week’s program will be presented by the JCHS “JC Singers”, who are preparing for their trip and performance in New York City.