Anchorage School Board approves $62 million bond proposal that includes money for new Inlet View Elementary

The Anchorage School Board approved a roughly $62 million bond proposal Tuesday night that includes money for rebuilding Inlet View Elementary in the South Addition neighborhood, among safety and structural improvements across the district.

Once it’s reviewed in December by the Anchorage Assembly, the proposal will go before voters in the April municipal election.

The bond includes roughly $19 million to fund part of the cost of the Inlet View rebuild, along with approximately $43 million for roof replacements, structural upgrades, safety improvements and renovations at several other schools.

Board discussions and public testimony at the board meeting centered on the Inlet View rebuild, which accounts for about a third of the bond proposal.

Board member Dave Donley was the sole member to vote against the bond proposal, citing concerns about the $50 million total cost.

Donley proposed two amendments during the meeting, both of which died after they failed to receive seconds: one to separate the Inlet View project into its own bond proposal, and another to include detailed funding sources for the project on the 2024 bond proposal so voters understood the full cost.

“Money is very short right now,” Donley said Tuesday, referencing the district’s roughly $95 million budget deficit. “And to dedicate this much available funds to a single project at this time, I think, is very concerning.”


Some people attending the meeting were also opposed to the rebuild.

“Let’s not load the proposed school bond with one school’s wish list, and bring down all the other schools in need,” said David Hansen.

But much of the testimony and commentary came from community and board members who spoke in support of the rebuild, noting district reports that showed a renovation might be cheaper in the short term but not the long term.

“The replacement or substantial reconstruction of Inlet View Elementary has been on every single capital improvement plan since 2011,” said Moira Smith, parent of an Inlet View third-grade student.

“These are challenging times. We need to support neighborhood schools if for no other reason than it is easier in the midst of a snowstorm when we have snowplowing challenges to get our kids to school,” she said.

“The long-term choice for what’s most economical is what’s going to ultimately put more money directly in educating kids,” said board member Andy Holleman, who said he was in favor of the rebuild.

“There needs to be a good, functioning (elementary school) in the Inlet View community — there’s not a good alternative close by,” he said.

A decision on whether to rebuild or renovate the school has sparked emotional debate for over a decade. Plans to remodel or rebuild the school, one of the oldest in the district, have stalled amid disagreements over design plans and other opposition.

In 2022, a $111 million Anchorage School District bond that included $31 million to pay for construction of a new Inlet View Elementary narrowly failed. In surveys conducted by the district, some voters named Inlet View as a reason for their disapproval, though more cited the bond’s overall size. Voters approved a much smaller bond in April that did not include Inlet View.

This summer, the board voted to allocate $26 million in funds from a one-time school bond debt reimbursement package from the Alaska Legislature toward the cost of rebuilding the school, which is estimated at $50 million.

The district estimated the 2024 bond proposal would cost taxpayers around $12.69 per $100,000 of assessed property.

In addition to the Inlet View funding, the proposition includes $34 million for roof replacements and other structural improvements to Alpenglow Elementary, Central Middle and Chugiak High schools, plus $4.4 million in security improvements across the district, $2.4 million for renovation designs for Romig Middle School, and $2.2 million in broader planning and design projects.

Annie Berman

Annie Berman is a reporter covering health care, education and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in San Francisco before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at