Northstar Elementary siding and High School auxiliary gym projects moving along

New siding for North Star Elementary and construction of the auxiliary gym at the high school are another step closer to reality after the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved construction-related documents at a recent regular meeting.


KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more on the projects.


Click arrow to listen to report, or continue on below to read it.



North Star has needed new siding for quite a while. And the auxiliary gym has been on a figurative sticky note on someone’s desk since before the new pool was first opened in fall of 2009.

Now, thanks in large part to unexpected funds bulking up the school’s budget, work will soon begin on both those projects.

The assembly took up four school-related items on its Dec. 19 agenda. Two were change orders to ongoing work that will now include the new projects. And two were for state-mandated Memorandums of Agreements between the borough and the Kodiak Island Borough School District since the money originates with the schools.

Borough Manager Michael Powers explained that the school district plans to spend roughly $2.6 million on various projects. Many are education specific while others are construction related.


“The school district proposed that they would take the lead on doing the construction work at the auxiliary gym, and would provide us with funding for the North Star siding project. And so those are being addressed as two separate items, change orders with the architect.”


The bonds that helped pay for construction of Kodiak High School are at risk of losing state reimbursement. (Photo by Kavitha George)



In response to a question from Assembly Member Andy Schroeder, Powers said the architect firm would pick up where previous gym plans left off.


“Yes, there’s a set of plans that were prepared, but they were prepared a number of years ago, they need to be updated to reflect the current conditions as well as building code requirements. And some of the materials that have already been purchased and other ideas that have evolved on improvements to that facility. So this will pay for the plans and engineering to get this out to bid and construction completed.”


School Superintendent Larry LeDoux has said he hopes to see the auxiliary gym completed by the end of summer so that it will be ready for next school year.


Shifting to the North Star siding project. That is much more complicated and will be much more expensive than the auxiliary gym. Part of the problem is the way the windows are constructed and the cost of replacing them.

Powers said the North Star project will be split in two. The first component will be the school gymnasium area, related doors and potential overhangs.


“And then in regard to the funding, the school district agreed to provide a little over $500,000 for the siding project. But the unspoken part of that has always been the windows, are in desperate need of attention and some love.

“And so we are proposing to split this into two projects for a couple of reasons–one timing of trying to get a bid package out for the entire scope–we wouldn’t be able to make this upcoming construction season.”


Then the borough will have time to itemize the many problems with North Star’s windows and give the project the time it needs to be done properly.

Powers adds an additional reason to deal with windows later.


“And then second, we’re also looking at the number of other window projects that we have borough wide. And so by splitting that into a second phase that would come in a subsequent construction year, we would be able to hopefully bid out a number of window projects and Then reduce our overall costs for all of the projects by hopefully letting one contract for multiple projects.”


Powers says setting the windows aside as a separate project will also give the Borough more time to find more funding for replacing them.


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