Anchorage voters will decide on an Anchorage School District bond during the municipal election on April 4.
A majority of the $37.8 million bond is dedicated to roof replacement and repair, as well as security vestibule installation at six elementary schools, camera upgrades, and safety improvements at Bettye Davis East High School.
A complete replacement of the roof at College Gate Elementary and seismic structural upgrades included in the bond would cost over $6 million. Similar replacement at the district support center would cost over $4 million, and repair of Kasuun Elementary School and Kincaid Elementary School roofs would cost nearly $12 million.
Kasuun and Kincaid are among the nine schools built in the 1990s with roofs that have outlasted their useful life, according to ASD Maintenance Supervisor Andrew Wallace. Leaks at Kasuun come through the roof in classrooms, the teachers lounge, and even the principal’s office.
“We have a series of leaks that are quite big, so we’re trying just to funnel all of it into one area to capture the water that’s going off here. So that’s the main purpose,” Wallace said. “We call this a drip net. We capture the water, diverting it and trying to control the water, basically.”
District spokesperson Lisa Miller noted that while the classrooms that have roof leaks at Kasuun are not used currently, the closure of Abbott Loop Elementary School will bring an additional 150 students to Kasuun next year, necessitating the use of the classrooms.
The district’s manager of capital planning and construction projects, Calvin Mundt, said that the problem with the old roof at Kasuun is compounded when snow falls, melts, re-freezes, and finds its way through the roofing.
“Then it’ll find a place to leak either through a crack in the decking or screw holes, nail holes,” Mundt said. “Then it gets in the system, and then it gets that insulation wet and then the r-value (insulation efficiency) of it decreases and then it just is hotter and hotter and hotter, causing more and more melt and creating more leaks.”
Mundt said that once water gets into the roof and the insulation below, the insulation struggles to keep the heat inside the building.
“This is considered a hot roof,” Wallace said. “Now if we got it a cold roof, there would be much more snow there and this would just eliminate that whole problem.”
Wallace said that the district has spent nearly $200,000 shoveling school roofs this winter. He said drywall damaged by leaks in several buildings will need to be replaced over the summer.
ASD has already completed installation of 33 vestibules and plans to build another 22 in the next two years. The cost included in the bond for vestibule installation is $8.7 million for the six schools that would receive the upgrade.
In 2022, Anchorage voters failed the district’s proposed school bond by 1,118 votes, a margin of 1.6%. According to the district, if the bond passes, the annual taxes on $100,000 of assessed property value would increase by $8.03.