Anchorage School District Bond will pay to replace or repair leaky roofs

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:01 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage voters are being asked to approve a nearly $38 million school bond during the April 4 municipal election.

While some of the money would go for security upgrades, the biggest chunk is earmarked to replace or upgrade leaky roofs, according to Anchorage School District Maintenance Supervisor Andrew Wallace.

Kasuun Elementary and Kincaid Elementary are two schools that would receive major upgrades if the bond passes. Wallace said a total of nine roofs in the district have a similar design that encourage ice dams during freeze and thaw cycles which allow water to run inside the building.

College Gate Elementary — which has a flat roof that also leaks — needs a new roof entirely. Wallace said the roofs have reached the end of their natural lives and their problems need to be addressed now.

“At this point if we don’t do anything more the leaking is going to get worse,” Wallace said. “And (cause) more damage inside the building.”

At Kasuun, students are accustomed to avoiding the garbage cans placed to catch drips in some classrooms and the school gym.

Principal Kori Engstrom said that while the leaks don’t really pose a safety problem, they do interfere with learning.

“It’s disruptive,” Engstrom said. “And it’s not very aesthetically pleasing either.”

The school has ceiling tiles with brown water stains, areas where paint and sheetrock have to be replaced. Costs that will continue to pile up, Engstrom said, if something isn’t done soon. Engstrom said her students deserve to have a school where the roof doesn’t leak.

“The roof has been leaking for years and years and it’s time,” Engstrom said.

The district said the bond money won’t pay for every roof that needs repairs but called it an important start.