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Updated Numbers & Potential One-Site Savings - Mr. Rother's April Newsletter Article

March 31, 2023

Updated Numbers & Potential One-Site Savings
By Jon Rother
April 2023

The school board and administration continue to meet with Boyd-Jones (Construction Manager At-Risk), Clark-Enersen (Architect) and Russ Koch (Facilities Adviser) during special board meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to develop plans for a facility that unites all student services, students and staff under one roof at one site. This process started in the fall of 2018 with facilities studies and community input meetings.

Goals for the new facility include providing for current and future programming. This means having enough space for future educational needs such as 

    ● Having the ability to split an elementary class into three sections. Currently all elementary classes are split into two sections but a wide variance in individual class sizes can make classroom space planning difficult.
    ● Adjusting curriculum to meet future needs.  A current goal is to include Family Consumer Science (FCS) courses. In order to do so, proper equipment and classroom design is required. Not to mention a teacher endorsed in FCS.
    ● An increase in overall student population necessitating additional middle and high school spaces. See page 2-3 for current student data.

Getting to one site will allow our district to be more efficient with our time, staff, student services and finances. Having two sites and three buildings means spending time and money for students and staff in-transit (bussing, teaching at both sites, activities), duality of services (lunch programs, cleaning, maintenance, etc.), and continued maintenance of buildings from four separate eras with three different modes of heating and cooling. All of this means that our district is spending an excess of time and money that over time  could be allotted towards a more efficient model:  one site, one facility.

As discussed in prior newsletters, the biggest cost driver to a school district is personnel. Also remember that PERSONNEL IS OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT’S MOST VALUED ASSET. We can’t operate our school without these valuable people. That being said, in an effort to control expenses, when an employee leaves our district, we evaluate whether the position could be absorbed. However, only so many positions can realistically be absorbed before student services begin to suffer. It also means an added workload for those employees still at the school district. You can refer to the numbers below to see what our enrollment and staffing numbers look like compared to five years ago.

One way to attract and retain quality personnel is through updated, safe, functional and attractive facilities. It’s not the only factor, but it can play a big role. If a candidate is not from the area, does not know anyone or have relatives in the area, what is the attraction to work at JCC? I can say that potential families will frequently ask for a tour of the facilities. They want to see where their child could go to school and what the learning conditions are like. This is no different than potential employees; they want to see what the working conditions are like.

Having the ability to host area, district, Educational Service Unit and conference events would be a plus. When hosting such events, a school district brings hundreds of people into the school district and the community. Oftentimes spectators in town for the event are purchasing gas, visiting the convenience stores, and eating out. The traffic from large school events can be a benefit to our communities as well.

Whether due to a new facility or renovations to existing facilities, Johnson County Central can experience financial savings and time savings by having all student services at one site.  

Here are some updated numbers pertaining to JCC, its facilities and students.

Staff (includes Certified & Classified)

95 - number of staff in 2022-2023 school year

    ● 3 administrators, 52 teachers, 40 support staff
    ● 8 - number of teachers that travel between the two sites daily for student services. In other words, we are essentially paying for an extra “phantom” teacher as we have 8 regular periods in the school day and the traveling teacher cannot teach when they are traveling). This also does not account for duality of other services (i.e kitchen staff, office staff, custodial staff)

102 - number of staff in 2018-2019 school year

    ● 4 administrators, 55 teachers, 43 support staff


508 - student membership* as of March 2023 (526 in 2018-2019)
445 - Average Daily Attendance** (446 in 2018-2019)

    ● 35 students per class in grades K-12.

468 - Average Daily Membership (474 in 2018-2019)

    ● 36 students per class in grades K-12.

* Membership includes preschool students. Therefore these numbers can vary due to a school having all day preschool versus half day preschool. Half day preschool doubles the number of preschool students which then increases membership.

**Attendance does NOT include preschool students.

74% - percentage of students with a Tecumseh address
13% - percentage of students with a Cook address
4% - percentage of students with a Talmage address
3% - percentage of students with an Elk Creek address

64% - percentage of students living within 1 mile of JCC’s Tecumseh Site
7% - percentage of students living within 1 mile of JCC’s Cook Site


251 - number of students relying on school transportation daily

177 - number of students riding shuttle buses daily

3,850 - number of miles per shuttle per year

    ● Combined, JCC shuttles accumulate 19,250 miles per year.

110.8 - number of hours a single student spends on shuttle buses per year

67 - number of students on bus routes daily

59.7 - average miles per route per day

    ● The longest route is 100 miles per day (there are 2 of these) and the shortest route is a van route at 28 miles per day.

$206,291* - transportation costs per year not including activities
$408* - yearly per pupil cost for shuttles
$1,692* - yearly per pupil cost for bus/van routes
$704* - yearly per pupil cost for preschool van routes

*Transportation costs do not include maintenance and licensing of vehicles.


2 - number of JCC sites
3 - number of JCC buildings used for educational purposes

130,607 - total square footage of current JCC facilities
    ● Cook Site is 56,000 sq/ft
    ● Tecumseh Site Elementary is 25,500 sq/ft
    ● Tecumseh Site High School is 49,107 sq/ft

$61,378 - Tecumseh Site (2 buildings) annual cost for utilities (electricity, water, sewer, gas)
$125,972 - Cook Site annual cost for utilities (electricity, water, sewer, propane)

One-Site Savings (by moving to the Tecumseh Site using current facilities)

$281,025 - Savings on staff
$93,610 - Savings on transportation
$43,000 - Savings on insurance, liability, snow removal, copier lease, sanitation services, telephone, etc.
$125,972 - Savings on utilities
$543,607 - Total Savings

    ● This equates to 7.15 cents on JCC’s levy based on current valuations.

Should JCC get to one site, and potentially build a new facility, JCC could drop the levy by up to 14 cents (at current valuations). This equates to just over $1 million dollars from the budget. The 14 cents consist of the “one site savings” discussed above and from not needing to put so much money into the building fund each year. Currently, 9 cents of our levy goes directly into the Building Fund to keep up with repairs and maintenance issues that arise. With a new facility, budgeting 9 cents to our building would not be required. Please note - the Building Fund will still maintain a level of funds to handle any unforeseen repairs or maintenance.