Summer is the time for school construction projects to get underway

Channel 2 Morning Edition (6 a.m.)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:49 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - There are a lot of things that need to get done leading up to kids going back to school, but what a lot of people may not realize is on the last day of school in the spring, kids head out and maintenance workers go in.

“It gets fast — right now is the time we’re really pushing the pedal to the metal to get these projects done,” said Calvin Mundt, project manager for Capital Planning and Construction for the Anchorage School District.

Mundt’s team has been working on a retubing project where two of the school’s four boilers are getting an upgrade. Mundt said it’s part of a larger project that started three summers ago when the last small chunk of funding from a 2017 bond allowed them to retube the boilers — a cost of $60,000 each — instead of having to replace them outright.

“If we were to replace each of those boilers, we would do so with a modern high-efficiency boiler — that would involve engineering and replacing all of the controls also, that’s about a million dollars a copy,” said the district’s acting Chief Operating Officer Rob Holland.

“This should be almost like putting a brand new boiler in here, so they’ll have a life of 20 to 30 years,” added Mundt.

West Anchorage High School is the district’s oldest high school, and the older the building, the more maintenance it requires.

“There’s always something, it seems, you need to do to either repair or replace old systems because they only have a useful life of so many years and then they have to be retrofitted and replaced,” Mundt said.

Holland said keeping the district’s schools up and running is a team effort.

“We have teams from Capital Planning performing bond-funded work, we have teams from major maintenance doing repair work that comes out of the general fund and then we also have right down to all the work that the custodians do in getting all the floors redone, all the carpets extracted, before kids come back,” Holland said.

District-wide, the Capital Planning department is working on 15 different projects covering about $37 million in bond funding over multiple years.

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