Two members leave USD 475 board

During its regular monthly meeting Monday night, Unified School District 475 recognized two departing board members, LaDonna Junghans (center left) and Tom Brungardt (center right). Also pictured are Superintendent of Schools Reginald Eggleston (left) and USD 475 Board of Education President Rina Neal (right).

The Unified School District 475 Board of Education has been looking at the future of the current Junction City High School building.

Superintendent of Schools Reginald Eggleston said at a Monday meeting that some local groups had expressed an interest in the current structure.

The football field would be considered part of the property, according to Eggleston.

“Individuals know — groups know — that we’re getting ready to vacate the building in a couple years to move into the new facility,” he said. “And so there’s a lot of interest as to what’s going to happen with the property, the facilities, etc. And so because of that, I’ve shared with you that we need to move forward with creating an RFP to put out so that entities out there can determine if they’re interested and notify us of it.”

Eggleston said the board would have an opportunity at a later date to vet proposals for the site. The goal, he said, is the publish an RFP some time in January in the hopes that proposals would be submitted over the next year.

“This is just kind of an FYI to know the direction we’re moving in,” he told board members.

Parts of the structure will still need to be torn down, according to Eggleston, though it is not known at this time which parts are salvageable and which are not.

Depending on what prospective bidders hope to do with the property, it may need to be re-zoned, according to member LaDonna Junghans.

During its meeting, the board also said goodbye to two soon-to-be-former members.

Tom Brungardt, who lost his seat in the Nov. 5 election, and Junghans, who chose not to run for her seat, were both recognized for their years of service.

Brungardt, a former teacher in the district, asked the board to trust teachers in his last words as a board member.

“It may be presumptuous for the loser of an election to give advice to winners, but that’s never stopped me before,” he said. “The most important asset this district has is our teachers. Without them, all you have are buildings, any one of which could become a warehouse or an apartment building. Respect for them is easy. It’s easy to respect people that are doing jobs that you don’t want to do — be that a firefighter, police officer, soldier — that’s easy. Trust is harder … We have to trust the teachers, individually and collectively. If we don’t, they’ll leave.”

Junghans thanked everyone in her last moments as a board member.

“I just want to thank not only the teachers, but the administrators, the DC team, the cafeteria workers, the bus drivers,” she said. “It takes a community to raise children, to love them and to educate them and so I appreciate everything you do. And I said it was challenging, but it was oh so rewarding."

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