Breaking down the 2020 ASD School Bond

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) The coronavirus pandemic may be the situation on everyone’s minds right now, but the Anchorage School Bond on this year’s municipal ballot deals with the aftermath of a different disaster.

“It’s primarily...a bond that addresses earthquake [damage],” said Anchorage School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop.

The bond package would put $83 million towards those repairs.

The two main schools in need of repair are Gruening Middle School and Eagle River Elementary. Both schools have been closed since the 2018 earthquake, with Gruening students attending classes in portable buildings at Chugiak High School, and the Eagle River Students dispersed among four other elementary schools.

“That neighborhood and those kids are really separated across the Eagle River area,” Bishop said.

But, while those two schools are in the most dire need of repair, Bishop said the bond would bring fixes and seismic upgrades to several others as well.

“Everything from Bartlett, to Bear Valley, Central, Chugiak, Dimond, Eagle River, East, Fire Lake, King Tech, Mirror Lake, and Whaley all have earthquake damage repair as well as seismic mitigation,” she said.

There are some other smaller projects on the bond, such as repairs for the roof at Aquarian Charter School, and the costs would be spread out over a two-year bond. Bishop said they don’t plan on putting another on the ballot next year.

She also pointed out that over those two years, more school bond debt will be retired than added.

“We’re going to retire $112-million, or just a little over it, I think it’s $111.9 million dollars,” she said.

Bishop also added that, if the bond passes, construction will likely begin in about a year and a half. She said she hopes that will help to create jobs as Anchorage comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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