The New JCHS Update – April 11, 2019

Initial dirt work has begun at the site of the New JCHS, and USD 475 in partnership with Hutton Construction have launched new ways for the public to remain informed and up-to-date on the project. Not only is the public invited to attend Board of Education meetings, but community members can also now view a site camera and photo or video updates.

Updates

Watch as student opportunity is built before your eyes. Check out the time-lapse camera located at the construction site of the New JCHS.

For news on the New Junction City High School bond and construction project visit the Geary County Schools USD 475 news website; connectED.

Updates on the project can also be found on the district Facebook Photo Album or the district Facebook Video Playlist (Videos can also be found on YouTube). Make sure to like, comment, and follow USD 475 on social media to get up-to-date information on the New JCHS as well as other projects, events, and programs in Geary County Schools.

Committments

During the Bond campaign, USD 475 and the Board of Education made several commitments to the community. Thus far, these commitments have been met or exceeded and currently, officials are working to meet one more of those commitments.

Board of Education members committed to providing the necessary high school infrastructure for the project in two categories; on-site utilities and required infrastructure such as roads and city service connections. District officials have worked diligently to determine what USD 475 is permitted to contribute under the law. Legal opinions have stated that only required and necessary infrastructure improvements qualify.

Development Agreement

The Board of Education approved the Utilities Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) on Monday, April 8, 2019, which ensures placement of electrical, sewer, gas, and water utilities starting this summer. These costs are covered by bond proceeds and will accommodate site requirements.

In November 2018, the District made an offer to the City of Junction City, which would cover the district’s need for municipal infrastructure improvements.

The following chart cites estimates which are subject to change due to actual prices obtained during the bid process.

Element District Offer KDOT City
Blue Jay Way
(31’ curb & gutter)
$1,952,660   $0
Water Line $296,000   $0
Sanitary Sewer Main $163,000   $0
K-18 Roundabout* $140,000 $1,250,000* $60,000
Total $2,551,660 $1,250,000 $60,000

                 *Information provided to the District by City of Junction City

The Development Agreement is currently delayed pending resolution of roundabout concerns. USD 475 remains hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon.

Back Story

Shortly after the November 2017 bond approval, the City filed for a KDOT grant application and received approval for construction costs of $1.25M with non-construction related costs not covered. USD 475 was not part of the grant application, however, has offered to fund a portion of the project requested by the City and approved by KDOT.

With a turn lane meeting minimum needs for the school, the District sought legal approval to help cover non-construction related costs of a roundabout. The District received legal reviews from Bond counsel as well as from the Kansas Association of School Boards. Both opinions cited Kansas statute prohibiting the District from using District monies for infrastructure that are the responsibilities of another unit of government.

With this restriction in mind, legal opinions agreed with a District goodwill offering to cover 70 percent of non-construction costs but mentioned that doing so would push the limits of the law.

The City rejected the District offer stating that it would like the USD 475 to cover the entire cost of the roundabout’s non-construction costs in addition to all construction costs exceeding the awarded $1.25M grant.

Forward Together

The District attempted to remove the roundabout from the development agreement in order to achieve resolution on other elements. At the time of this publication, no agreement had been reached; however, Geary County Schools Officials believe that by continuing to work together a resolution which doesn’t put the district into potential legal trouble can be reached soon.

Deadlines for these decisions are quickly approaching. Infrastructure delays could impact the opening of the school which is slated for August 2021.

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