Summary of August 2, 2021, Board of Education meeting

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Geary County Schools USD 475 Board of Education held a meeting on Monday at the Mary E. Devin Center for Education Support.

The meeting began with Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston recognizing the district’s Child Nutrition Program for receiving a clean report from the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Fiscal Auditing and Child Nutrition & Wellness Teams review for the period of July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. KSDE did not have any specific findings, recommendations, or questioned costs related to the administration of the program.

The district also recognized its partner, Cenergistic, for working diligently to help save $4,061,471 in energy usage since 2015. Cenergistic’s Energy Management Specialist David Wert presented a plaque and banner to the district for this achievement. Wert has been assigned to advise the district and monitor the energy usage, with frequent audits and inspections of each facility within the district. He also played a significant role in implementing COVID-19 ventilation mitigation initiatives throughout the district’s facilities.

Following the recognitions and approval of the Consent Agenda, the board recessed to an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, as well as the negotiations between the district and the Junction City Education Association.

The board then continued to the action items, beginning with the district’s Chief Financial Officer Marilee Fredricks providing an update to the USD 475 Accountable Plan for Travel for its second reading. The district’s Chief Operations Officer David Wild followed with an item regarding the refinancing of the bond for the new Junction City High School, ultimately saving the district $10,923,189.60. The board approved both items.

Wild also presented to the board a recommendation for Hutton Construction to be chosen as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for the construction of the new elementary school on Fort Riley. The district chose Hutton Construction among four CMAR candidates, with the district’s source selection committee giving them the highest score among the firms. The board approved this recommendation.

The final action item taken by the board was to change the district’s mask policy to make the wearing of masks required for all staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, inside all district facilities and vehicles, including school buses. This change went into effect immediately until Oct. 8, when the board will reevaluate the current COVID-19 conditions and reassess the guidelines as necessary.

Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston then led a board discussion on updates to the construction of the new Junction City High School, which is on track to open for students on Aug. 25, as well as an update to the district’s strategic plan.

Following updates from the Board Advisory Committees and general remarks from the board members, the meeting was adjourned. Their next meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m.

For media inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, marketing and media specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.