December 7, 2015
Contact: Heidi Embley
The Anchorage School Board approved a bond proposal for April 2016 that focuses on districtwide life safety projects. The $49.3 million proposal is less than the amount of bond debt the district will pay off since voters approved last year’s school bond package.
“Students in one-third of our schools will have a direct benefit from the projects on this proposal,” said Superintendent Ed Graff.
For the first time in several years, the proposal does not include replacement or reconstruction of schools, instead it concentrates on roofs, electrical and mechanical systems, boilers, emergency generators, security systems, buses and other components essential to proper building function and student and staff safety. In total, 36 schools have projects included in the proposal.
In addition to the life safety projects, the bond proposal includes funds to replace 27 of the oldest school buses in the district’s fleet and funds for engineering design of future projects affecting Whaley and Mt. Iliamna schools.
“We shifted the focus of our bond proposal in order to address life safety and immediate needs at our schools,” said board President Kameron Perez-Verdia. “This proposal mirrors what the community told us: they support a modest school bond proposal that makes a number of needed improvements across the district."
The district also collected feedback from the Capital Improvement Advisory Committee in development of the bond proposal. The committee contributes to the development of the district’s six-year Capital Improvement Plan which outlines the district’s capital strategy and advises the district’s prioritization of deferred maintenance projects totaling more than $280 million.
“With the loss of state reimbursement for bonded school construction projects, the board must carefully weigh district needs with the level of community support,” said Perez-Verdia.
The school bond proposal must be approved by the Anchorage Assembly before it will be placed on the April 2016 municipal election ballot.
NOTE: View list of all projects on the proposed bond.