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Superintendent Monthly Update: JCC School Bond Steering Committee

November 14, 2021

Superintendent Monthly Update: November 2021

JCC School Bond Steering Committee
Who They Are and What They Do
By Jon Rother

Please click here for PDF (printable) version.

In the process of discussing an upcoming Johnson County Central school bond, we are now at the stage where a “steering committee” has begun their work.  The steering committee is composed of district patrons that have volunteered their time and energy to help guide a decision that will affect our school district for years to come.  The members are:

  • Mark Badertscher
  • Lyndsay Beethe
  • Maria Rauner
  • Kandi Bilslend
  • Jed Droge
  • Sarah Droge
  • Stacy Goodrich
  • Doug Goracke
  • Dalton Hartman
  • Patti Holthus
  • Dan Jones
  • Steve Mercure
  • Erin Rolf
  • Steve Ruenholl
  • Jon Schmid
  • Eugene Watson
  • Mike Wendt
  • Sara Wendt
  • Nate Werner
  • Paul Wilken

The committee’s most important responsibility is having conversations with our district patrons to determine what our communities want in bond regarding school facilities.  From there, using the information they gather, the committee will “steer” our school board in a direction that best represents the thinking of our district at large.  In short, what should be proposed in a bond issue and at what cost (the biggest question of all).

At this point, the steering committee has had one meeting on November 2, 2021.  It was an “orientation meeting” with representatives from Boyd-Jones (Construction Manager), DA Davidson (Financial Advisors), Clark-Enersen (Architect) and KSB School Law (JCC legal counsel) all present to help answer questions and give advice.  During this first meeting, the conversation centered on:

  1. Bringing all students to one site in Tecumseh.
  2. Eliminating the elementary building in Tecumseh (where the lower elementary grades (PK - 3rd) are served).
  3. Achieving the above goals by constructing either:
    1. A PK-5th grade building with a competition gym
      - OR -
    2. A 6th grade -12th grade building with a competition gym

In the course of this meeting, some of the information requested by steering committee members were:

  • How much is JCC currently spending on maintenance & upgrades of facilities?
  • What are the projected costs (maintenance & necessary upgrades) to operate our facilities as we currently do? 
  • If a new building is constructed and our district moves to a “one site concept,” what savings would be realized in transportation, staffing and maintenance?

The committee noted that these options all come with different challenges and opportunities.  Simply put, there are no easy answers to our facility needs.  Some questions that the committee raised:

  • What happens to the current middle school building in Cook if we move to a single campus in Tecumseh?
  • How do we best utilize the current high school building in Tecumseh? Should it remain a high school/middle school or should it be renovated to serve as an elementary school? 
  • As our current auditorium is located in the elementary building in Tecumseh (see item #2 above), should a performing arts center be included?
  • The biggest question of all:  What does this all cost?

All these questions are yet to be answered and are dependent on what happens with a bond.  I hope that you will reach out to one or more of the committee members and/or school board members with your thoughts.  As always, feel free to contact me as well!