New High School Bond Discussed at School Board Meeting


Erik Wander/KMXT

Two proposed bonds for Kodiak High School were once again discussed at the Kodiak Island School Board meeting Monday. School board members heard details of an 80-million dollar bond for new high school construction that the district would like to see on this year’s ballot, and a less expensive list of renewal and replacement projects to be completed over the next four years.

Kodiak High School principal Bill Watkins spoke of the need for a new facility, the finances involved and some of the changes that have occurred since the fall 2008 election, when a proposed 115-million dollar bond to fund construction of a new high school was defeated. Watkins said voters were most likely scared off at the time by the price tag and that a lack of understanding of funding may have contributed to the measure failing as well.

(School 1 39 sec. "Many of our community … would have passed in October.")

Watkins said the school district’s new plan is based on the concerns expressed at the time by community members. He also said that the significant drop in construction costs will continue to be a factor in reducing the cost to tax payers.

(School 2 54 sec. "So we went back and … estimated the cost to be.")

A possible alternative to the approximately 80-million dollar bond for new high school construction is a separate 12-million dollar bond for a list of renewal and replacement projects. The list includes borough-wide maintenance upgrades, but Watkins said it falls well short of what is needed at the high school.

(School 3 41 sec. "We have some severe problems … around the United States.")

Watkins highlighted several areas of need that the list does not address. He also said the projected cost of deferred maintenance could ultimately make it a more expensive option than new high school construction.

(School 4 34 sec. "Poor ventilation, poor lighting … money in the long run.")

If either or both projects are to be included as bond issues in the fall election, they must be introduced at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s July 16th regular meeting. The school district will give an updated presentation to the borough assembly at its work session Thursday.


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