Progress made at new Wright City High School site, but now dust is becoming an issue

By John Rohlf, Staff Writer
Posted 7/10/23

"You’re subject to the elements and there’s always a wrench thrown at you but we try to do our best.” 

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Progress made at new Wright City High School site, but now dust is becoming an issue


A recent lack of rain is the cause for dust issues near the site of the new high school construction, Bobby Christopher of Wright Construction confirmed at last week’s Wright City R-II Board of Education meeting. 

Resident Larry Zuhone raised concerns with the amount of dust affecting his property during last week’s meeting. Zuhone characterized the dust as “atrocious.” Zuhone requested answers on what the board plans to do about the issue and who is taking ownership of the issue. 

“Yesterday afternoon, my wife tried to have a few people over on the patio,” Zuhone said. 

“That lasted about five minutes the dust was so bad. I power washed that deck yesterday at 10 o’clock. At 2 o’clock, you could have grown potatoes on there. And it’s not only that. It’s the cars. It’s everything. My garage door’s going to be worn out because I’m not keeping it open. Shutting it every time I go in and out.” 

Christopher said the lack of rain at the site is the main cause of the runoff dust. Christopher was hopeful there would be rain this week to help with the dust issue. 

“We’re hoping we get a little more rain,” Christopher said. “With that said, the more concrete we put down, the more areas we go after, there are things that will minimize the dust. But we’re hopeful that we can address the high traffic areas and we’re hoping Mother Nature helps us out a little bit.” 

He said they could target certain areas of the site but stressed it is not realistic to water 80 acres. 

The Wright City R-II Board of Education confirmed they would like to review the proposed amount to treat certain areas of the site. If lack of rainfall continues to be an issue, Christopher said the area they would target would be the east and west road between Roelker Road and Highway F. If the district decides to proceed with treating certain areas, Christopher said they would get on a routine to treat as many areas as possible in four hours that makes sense for the district. The companies Wright Construction typically works with have a four hour minimum, Christopher said. 

Christopher stressed they want to be good neighbors and are not deliberately letting runoff get off the premises. They cannot do much with dust, he said. 

“Late spring early summer, it’s been dry,” Christopher said. “In comparison to the last two springs, it’s been extremely wet. So there’s challenges there we work with. Construction is just that. You’re subject to the elements and there’s always a wrench thrown at you but we try to do our best.” 

Christopher said the lack of recent rain did allow the crews to excel with site utilities, earth work and foundations. 

“Progress is going really well at this point and time,” Christopher said. 

Christopher said they are still waiting for approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with installing the box culvert. The Army Corps of Engineers recently conducted a bat study. While they did find a couple bats, neither bat was on the endangered list. 

“It’s in the Army Corps of Engineers’ hands of are they going to recommend doing additional testing or are they going to give us the go ahead to do the remaining clearing,” Christopher said. “We just don’t know at this point and time. We’re just waiting on them to answer back and give us the next set of direction.” 

Erick Wilson of Bond Architects said construction at East Elementary is still on pace to be finished on the projected timeline for the four room addition. 

“They’re really moving forward pretty well,” Wilson said. “No hiccups recently.” 

wright city, r ii, district, construction, high school