Lake Otis Elementary School needs $12.9M for upgrades in proposed bond

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 9:26 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - One of the main items on the April 5 ballot in Anchorage is a more than $111 million bond is being proposed by the Anchorage School District for upgrades across the district.

Lake Otis Elementary School is looking to receive $12.9 million of the bond because the systems at the school are beyond their expected life, leading to what the district is calling a needed upgrade to be put into the school to extend the building’s life expectancy.

These include renovations to the special education area, water systems, and even down to the lights.

“For electrical, replacing this old fluorescent lights with new LED’s, which has a payback of about two years,” said district Planning and Design Supervisor Larry Morris. “Upgrading the electrical service — mechanically we’re redoing ventilation to increase outside air, get better ventilation for the students.”

But not all the renovations are inside, the students at Lake Otis would be getting a new playground as well, one not made of wood and open for everyone.

“Generally, ADA requirements means that everybody has to be able to get to every type of play toy that’s out there,” Morris said. “So it really comes down to putting an accessible surface underneath all the playground equipment as well as replacing a lot of it.”

One of their main goals, according to district Capital Planning and Construction Director Thomas Fenoseff, is security across the district, starting with putting vestibules in all the elementary schools. There will be a secure outside door where people can only be buzzed in unless they have a fob. They will then walk into an indoor secure room where people will need to be let in again to get into the main office.

This is all before even stepping foot inside the school, and when people sign in, their name would be searched through databases all to provide security for the students.

“This should be a safe environment where they want to come to school, they’re excited about coming to school, and it’s our responsibility to provide that,” Fenoseff said.

Under this bond, the district is focusing on the elementary schools vestibules. In the future, the district will move on to middle and high schools.

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