Inlet View has still not been granted the funding to move forward with reconstruction plans. Members of the Inlet View community, including parents, educators and neighbors, have given public comments in school board meetings to urge the board to follow through.
The current building has outdated infrastructure with prevalent sewage problems and overall safety concerns according to Inlet View Elementary School Replacement’s website. Many parents have spoken on behalf of Inlet View Elementary in recent school board meetings.
One father of two Inlet View students called it an investment for the community. Clyde Carey, owner of 49th Freight, said “Inlet View is the only [International Baccalaureate] elementary school in the city and the new design will help complement the IB curriculum tremendously and therefore helping to add to the objectives of creating a high performing school District here in Anchorage.”
According to a report by The U.S. Department of Education, not only has the pandemic affected academic growth of primary students but widened disparities of opportunity experienced by students of color.
According to US News, the school has a 45% minority enrollment and high performing test scores in comparison to district averages. Many parents pointed these facts out as reasons for a better facility to avoid closure of the school as the board has discussed ways to increase proficiency.
“ASD’s own analysis shows building replacement will save more dollars than major renovation. It would not address time-sensitive safety improvements,” said parent Daniela Delozier.
“The Urban Design Commission last month approved the design process,” she said, “cost, quality, and schedule are all negatively affected by a longer wait for funding. Right now is the time to get solid pricing from contractors. It's the best time to bid the spring and summer 2023 work.”
According to Inlet View Elementary School Replacement’s website, “In 2020, the ASD Two-Year Bond was passed, which included $3.34m for the new school design” but money for construction has yet to be settled.
In 2021, the school board settled on launching a $111 million bond on the ballot, which would allocate $30 million to the renovation of Inlet View. This would have cost property owning taxpayers in the municipality less than $25 in one fiscal year but did not pass on the ballot this past April.
Later, a one-time bond of $100 million would be granted to the school board by the Alaska Legislature. Just in this month alone, more than $60 million of that fund has already been allocated toward projects in the district. Many parents are arguing that the rest be directed towards the renovation of Inlet View Elementary. Parents believe the school can help keep and attract working-class families to Anchorage.
Long-time neighbor of Inlet View and property owner, Mary Gettys, said “Inlet is not just the heart of our community, it is a driver of our economic stability and growth.”
Towards the end of their October 4th meeting, the board voted to extend their discussion of budget revisions, including any financial disbursements to Inlet View, until December 5th.