USD 475 moving toward new JCHS opening day with inspections

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — A team of inspectors, mobilized by Junction City Fire Chief Terry Johnson, last week conducted the final inspections of the new Junction City High School.

The inspectors came from Fort Riley and the City of Herington to assist.

“Right up front I want it known that I am humbled by the level of commitment demonstrated by Chief Terry Johnson,” said David Wild, chief operations officer for Geary County Schools USD 475. “His efforts to help ensure a safe yet timely opening of the school is a work of true professionalism.”

The effort displayed in the first week of the process set minds at ease during the biweekly district and city update. Due to this level of partnership, substantial completion of the project is achievable by mid-July.

“The city team is exceeding expectations,” Wild informed Junction City Mayor Jeff Underhill after being asked about the city’s performance.

Hutton Construction is serving as the general contractor of the project and is also recognized for its achievements. Hutton experienced a delay approximating 90 days at the onset of the project, coupled with COVID-19 related material delays and a shortage of around 50 personnel during the peak of production.

“The abilities of Hutton General Superintendent Cody Simon and his team to achieve a timely opening of the school is remarkable,” Wild said.

With assurances of safety, Geary County Schools USD 475 Board of Education approved the planned opening of the school during their meeting last week. Staff and students will be able to open the school on time while construction in restricted areas will continue into the early fall. This is due to COVID-19 related delays in the delivery of non-critical materials, such as acoustic panels, steel products, and paint products. Installation and aesthetic work on both the interior and exterior of the building will continue after substantial completion and a Certificate of Occupancy is provided by the city. The continued work will also focus on late project additions, including the orchestra and multi-purpose rooms.

For inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.