Metro Jr. ROTC program needs concrete pump truck to finish repairs to training course

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Air Force Junior ROTC program at Washington High School is desperately trying to repair the confidence course its cadets use for training.

It’s been nearly a year since the 170 cadets enrolled in the program were able to use the course near the school’s football field.

“Part of our curriculum is physical fitness and so that course is very important in helping to develop these individuals, not only mentally but also physically,” Master Sgt. Richard DeLacy said.

The course has been around for almost 20 years but many of the obstacles have become unsafe.

“The course was originally done by a young man who was a cadet in the program who was scheduled to go into the Marine Corps,” DeLacy said.

The cadet responsible was Enoc Dominguez. The 18-year-old completed the course in January 2000 as part of an Eagle Scout project. Two months later, he was killed in a car crash.

The course is dedicated in his honor.

“I mean it’s a big part of our program,” DeLacy said.

With much of the course in disrepair, the booster club drafted plans last year to update it. They removed dangerous existing obstacles and designed new challenges to go up on the course.

“We’ve done a lot of work down there,” said Christy Zahnter, the booster club president.

Zahnter got a company to donate the concrete needed for the foundation. Another company volunteered their pump truck to pour the concrete. However, the latter company pulled out after the rain last spring became problematic.

“Right now, we’re looking at trying to do it with wheel barrels, and there are 63 holes down there that we need to fill up, and concrete goes bad after a while,” Zahnter explained.

The Junior ROTC program still has the donated concrete. They just need a pump truck, but don’t have the money to pay for one. A lot of the funds they raise help pay for cadets to attend drill competitions.

“It cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 an hour [to rent a concrete pump truck] and we estimated it was going to take some 3 hours to pour that concrete, so you’re looking at a $6,000 tab,” DeLacy said.

They want to get the concrete footings poured now before winter really sets in.

"[The confidence course] is part of our history, and it’s something we definitely want to see continue,” he said.

The goal is to get the concrete footings in place sooner than later, so they can complete the upgrades to the course in the spring.

If you know a company willing to donate a pump truck to help with this project, email FOX4’s Zac Summers at zac.summers@fox4kc.com.

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