ASD approves a $55 million bond for capital and safety improvements

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Editor's note: ASD expects the bond package would result in homeowners paying about $25 in property taxes. Approximately $6.92 for every $100,000 of of assessed property value.

The Anchorage School Board approved a $55 million school bond for the 2019 year.

ASD Board President Starr Marsett says the board is focusing on several security projects and improvements following an outbreak of threats scrawled on bathroom walls in schools across the district.

"We heard from parents at Dimond that said they would support any bond that has safety and security on it," said Marsett. "We have several schools that we not up to that safety and security level."

ASD Senior Director of Capital Planning & Construction Thomas Fenoseff said about $12.6 million of the bond would go towards security updates to over 20 elementary schools, including reconfiguring main entryways.

ASD Chief Financial Officer Jim Anderson says the goal is to have a bond that is equal to the bond retirement total in order to not increase total bond debt.

"It's just over $55 million which is very close to what the district is paying off in bond debt this year," Anderson said. "So you would look at it and say 'Well, we are going to have to pay interest as well as that.'"

If approved, the $55 million bond package would also include funding for roofing maintenance and upgrades, mechanical projects, and other capital improvements.

ASD expects the bond package would result in an increase of approximately $25 per year for the average homeowner. The average home in Anchorage is valued at $367,000. Homeowners would pay approximately $6.92 for every $100,000 in value according to Anderson.

The bond proposal now needs to be approved by the bond counsel. From there, it will be sent to the Anchorage Assembly for approval before potentially appearing the April ballot for voters to decide.