Unified School District 475 board members have decided not to pursue adding a health clinic to construction plans for the new Junction City High School.
Board members previously discussed adding a multi-purpose health clinic to the new school, which will be built on a 160-acre tract of land north of K-18 Highway. They discussed the issue again during this week’s work session, and USD 475 Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston requested opinions on the proposal.
“Do we actually want the clinic as part of the facility?” Eggleston asked.
Board member Sarah Talley said she did not support the proposed facility as it is currently composed.
“I would support a clinic if we did it as an extension of the nursing station that we have,” Talley said. “I am concerned about the dollars being spent, and it not being spent on classrooms. We went to the public and said that’s what we’re going to do.”
Board member Jim Schmidt also said he was concerned with the proposed facility’s price tag. It would cost $3.1 million to add the health clinic to the new school’s construction plans.
“I think there’s way too many questions to put $3.1 million at risk,” Schmidt said.
Board member David Walker said funding the health clinic would mean that three or four other initiatives planned for the high school would be taken off the list.
“The money would be better used for construction of the high school,” Walker said.
Board member LaDonna Junghans also said there are better ways to utilize the money in question.
“I feel the dollars need to go toward education,” Junghans said. “I would prefer to educate our children on how and where to go for their health care than provide it in the school setting.”
Board members could revisit the proposal, however, and a health clinic’s design could be added in the future if the right opportunity presents itself.
“I don’t think this is something we don’t want to do,” Talley said. “I just think we need to rethink about doing it in this time of construction.”
Board member Rina D. Neal said it could be helpful to get new ideas from established clinics, and requested that preparations be made for board members to visit schools that currently have them in place.
“I think we need to continue to research and review,” Neal said.