Eagle River Elementary school closed through school year from earthquake damage

Published: Dec. 4, 2018 at 2:30 PM AKST
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The Anchorage School District announced Eagle River Elementary school will remain closed until the end of the year.

Chris Borst, ASD Maintenance Supervisor says Eagle River Elementary school has serious structural damage and repairs cannot be made immediately.

"Whether it 's plumbing, heating or ventilation we can address those, but it's the structure that we can't address," Borst said.

ASD Superintendent Deena Bishop said in a note to parents, staff and community members that the plan is to relocate Eagle River Elementary students to Homestead and Birchwood Elementary Schools.

Currently, Eagle River Elementary school is the only ASD school listed as seriously damaged and unsafe to occupy.

With many students out of school as crews repairs earthquake damages, ASD's superintendent says so far there are no plans to extend the school year.

"Already, we have two days built into our schedule so the statutory requirements are 170 schools days we have 172," Dr. Bishop said.

Education Commissioner Michael Johnson said for both the Anchorage School District and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District he would substitute some of the closure dates as emergency closure days, eliminating the need to extend the school year.

"With cases like this when you have to cancel school because there is a threat to the safety students," said Commissioner Johnson, "Sometimes it’s best to substitute those days than keep adding them onto the school year."

Commissioner Johnson said he has been working with ASD and Mat-Su school districts to ensure schools are safe when students return.

This story is developing.