JCHS Outside

The Daily Union The sign pointing to Junction City High School main campus, at the corner of Eighth Street and Eisenhower Drive.

“We propose to stand by the progressive movements which will benefit the condition of the people of these United States.”

So was the decree to the public by Daily Union owners John Montgomery and E.M. Gilbert in 1888. In the 129 years since that decree, the Daily Union has issued its steadfast support to movements that will forward the progress of Junction City, the State of Kansas, and the United States. In keeping with that tradition, the Daily Union encourages the citizens of Junction City to vote yes Tuesday on the proposed bond issue to build a new high school.

It is our belief that Junction City is at a crossroads. Tuesday’s election represents a possible turn toward incredible progress. With a new voting majority on the City Commission and potential new school board members, the city could see significant change in the near future. If the bond issue passes, the change will be very positive.

Unified School District 475 finds itself in a unprecedented situation. The money it has received from the federal government in the form of heavy impact aid puts the district in a position to build an entirely new school without any increase in the current mill levy. With the construction of a new high school, Junction City will become a much more attractive destination for families and businesses.

To replace the high school is not a matter of vanity or excess, but of necessity. If it’s not done now, it will have to be done in the future, when the cost of nearly everything involved is higher. It’s impossible to tell how much the state would cover on a future bond, and due to changes in the law that USD 475 has been grandfathered into, the bond money would not be usable for many of the things it can be used for now. Additionally, the district will continue to spend $500,000 a year and possibly more on maintenance on the old building.

For a school to be built to modern standards with no burden passed on to the taxpayer is an impossible dream in most every community, but not this one. Now is the time, and it mustn’t be ignored.

For a community to thrive, the majority must look toward progress and strive for the greater good. It must recognize opportunities for positive change and seize them with full strength. It must make choices in full view of not only self-interest, but the interest of future generations. Junction City will likely never again see a less burdensome way to do just that.

Vote for progress Tuesday. Say yes.

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