• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 8s

School bond proposal includes Airport Heights renovation

By Alexis Fernandez 7:52 AM March 31, 2014

The Anchorage municipal election is Tuesday: On the ballot will be several bonds, including one that would improve 19 schools across the Anchorage School District.

It comes with a $57 million price tag.

- $5.9 million to design projects at four schools

- Nearly $29 million to renewal and building projects at 17 schools

- $22.8 million to renovate Airport Heights Elementary School.

Like some of the books in its library, Airport Heights Elementary School is aging and the wear and tear is slowly taking its toll on the building

That’s not to mention the lack of space to house the school’s 300 students. The sprinkler room is now a part-time library and testing room.

Principal Michael Webb, who’s been with the school for nearly eight years, said he’s making the most of what they have. It’s common to see hallways used as storage areas — or even classrooms — and Webb said the building is 54 years old and was last updated in 1987.

He said his biggest wish is to have a place where students can eat their lunch. The gym currently serves as a cafeteria.

“We eat lunch in our classrooms,” he said.

That wish could soon come true.

Airport Heights is one of 19 schools slated for improvement if voters approve a $57 million dollar bond package on April 1.

“We’ve waited 40, 50 years for this and we’re not asking for something just because,” he said. “We just want a functional school that’s going to be up to standards with the rest of the schools in the city and the state of Alaska, and offer our kids the same opportunities that other kids have.”

The $23 million proposed in the bond measure would give the school a major facelift, adding 15,000 square feet to the 40,000-square-foot building.

That means four new classrooms, a multipurpose room, a new library and a bus drop-off area. It would also fix some of the heating and plumbing issues.

“We know that we’re leaking a lot dollars out the windows and walls of the building,” Webb said.

Webb said these improvements would give the building life for the next 40 years.

“A new school is going to a go long way to give us some space and some amenities that are going to help us do a better job with these kids, and that’s what we’re thrilled about,” he said.

The school’s new chapter is now left in the hands of Anchorage voters.

If passed April 1, the bond would cost the average Anchorage homeowner about $15 per year.

The state is expected to pick up two-thirds of the cost.

Latest Stories

  • News

    More parking spaces planned for Campbell Park

    by Alexis Fernandez on Nov 30, 22:42

    A park in Midtown Anchorage is getting some upgrades to help make it safer and more inviting to the neighborhood. On Monday, crews demolished the old Fire Station 4 building to make room for up to 30 new parking spaces at the Campbell Park. The building was being used by the Anchorage Parks and Recreation […]

  • Sports

    Alaska cousins finally meet through basketball

    by Dave Goldman on Nov 30, 22:18

    Basketball players can come from anywhere and everywhere, and on the Eagle River Christian High School team, they do. But where Wallace Unwiluk is from is only a part of the curiosity. How he arrived in Anchorage is another. Wallace hails from Gambell, Alaska, which is “approximately 45 miles from Russia.” Wallace’s cousin, Khalil, plays for Eagle River Christian. One […]

  • News

    Upcycling creates wool sweater shortage at Anchorage thrift stores

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 30, 20:00

    People who repurpose wool sweaters say there’s a shortage of the fabric in Anchorage, thanks to the “upcycling” trend. One artist said she gets sweaters shipped in from her sister in Canada, and another stocks up during the summer. “Upcycling” is ushering in a new wave of innovation. Entrepreneurs like Bonnie Getter have created entire businesses around […]

  • News

    Bethel addresses hiring, housing woes with new homes for first responders

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 30, 19:43

    For communities in rural Alaska, hiring good employees isn’t always the biggest challenge. Sometimes, it’s finding those employees a place to live. “We have a huge lack of housing, especially a lack of quality housing,” said Bethel Community Services Foundation executive director, Michelle DeWitt. That lack can lead to problems, especially when it comes to […]

  • News

    Juneau mayor found dead, police investigating

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 18:27

    Updated at 9:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 Juneau’s Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk was found dead in his home Monday afternoon, according to Juneau Police. His adult son reportedly called 911 at 3:34 p.m. to report he had found his father dead inside his residence on the 400 block of Kennedy Street in Juneau, a statement […]

  • Politics

    Group files for petition to repeal Anchorage equal rights ordinance

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 18:05

    A group led by a conservative morning talk show host is trying to repeal Anchorage’s equal rights ordinance. On Wednesday, KFQD host Bernadette Wilson filed for a petition with the municipal clerk’s office. The proposed petition would ask voters “Shall AO No. 2015-96 (S1) (as amended), an ordinance adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Title […]

  • News

    Alaska State Troopers create new unit to focus on violent crimes

    by Associated Press on Nov 30, 17:58

    Alaska State Troopers say a new unit has been created to focus on violent crimes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. Troopers say a patrol sergeant and two patrol troopers from the Bethel post have been assigned to the new violent offenders unit. Officials say the unit officially will be established on Tuesday. The changes have […]

  • News

    Video of Anchorage teen being assaulted prompts outrage, $100,000 lawsuit

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 17:49

    ANCHORAGE — The father of an Anchorage teenager who was filmed being beaten by a group of fellow teens has filed a lawsuit against the homeowner where the attack allegedly occurred, seeking over $100,000, according to court documents. The video, which was recorded July 26, 2015, shows a group of girls — ranging in age […]