The brand-new Junction City High School has been officially christened.

USD 475 officials held a ribbon cutting for the 437,000-square-foot facility on Saturday afternoon after four years of planning and construction and more than a month after it opened with a crowd of several hundred people in attendance.

“Today we have a facility that stands as a flagship for Junction City,” said USD 475 School Board President Dr. Anwar Khoury. “It allows our students to receive a top-notch, 21st century education in a 21st century building but it also allows growth, creativity and collaboration to flourish for many years to come.”

The $132 million building is organized into four different academies including the Freshman Success Academy (FSA), the Science, Engineering and Heath Academy (SEH), the Business, Public Safety and Hospitality Academy (BESH) and the Fine Arts and Human Services Academy (FAHS).

“This is the envy of every military installation across the Army, without a doubt,” Fort Riley Garrison Commander Colonel William McKannay said.

Kansas Sen. Tom Hawk and U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall spoke at the event along with Executive Director of the Kansas Department of Commerce Retired Lieutenant General Perry Wiggins.

Building principal Merrier Jackson indicated that the new high school is the largest in square-footage in the state of Kansas.

After the ribbon cutting, guests were invited to participate in student-led tours of the school.

“These kids are going to find solutions for problems we have now and future problems we can’t even imagine the solutions for standing here,” Jackson said addressing the crowd. “And it will be because of your commitment to (the students).”

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