The task of untangling the complex web of choices, courses, controversies and complications concerning Chugiak-Eagle River schools began Tuesday night at Chugiak High, where about 200 people gathered for the first in a series of public meetings that will help determine the future of virtually every Anchorage School District student living north of Muldoon Road.
“We have a lot of work to do,” ASD superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop said that the outset of the meeting, which was attended by district officials and members of the Anchorage School Board.
Engineers had serious questions about whether Gruening Middle School could withstand a powerful earthquake from the time the school was built, according to a collection of news stories written about the school’s troubled construction in the early 1980s.
“A major earthquake would produce significant damage and a possible partial collapse,” at the school, California engineering firm Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc. wrote in a 1983 report to the Anchorage School District.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a Business Recovery Center in downtown Eagle River Thursday to help people affected by the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake apply for low-interest federal loans and begin the process of applying for individual federal disaster assistance.
The office will be located in the Eagle River Town Center Building at 12001 Business Boulevard. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both SBA and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials will be on hand.
There won’t be many days off for students, parents, teachers, administrators and Anchorage School District officials in the coming weeks as they scramble to come up with plans for what to do about a pair of quake-damaged schools in Eagle River.
“We have a very short window,” Anchorage School Board President Starr Marsett said at a Monday night board meeting, where an ad hoc committee was formed to study options for Chugiak-Eagle River schools even as the district waits for engineering reports on damage to the most severely damaged facilities.
Male inmates enrolled in a successful faith-based program intended to reduce recidivism have been moved from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center to the Anchorage Correctional Complex in what state officials say is a plan to increase programs for female inmates at the women’s prison.
Alaska Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom confirmed 37 men were transferred from Hiland to the Anchorage jail Saturday.
Calls were down slightly in 2018, but Chugiak’s volunteer fire department was still red hot.
Calls for service decreased by about eight percent last year even as the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department saw a surge in volunteer hours thanks to what chief Tim Benningfield says has been a concerted effort to draw in new recruits.
“We’ve had a great recruitment and retention effort,” Benningfield told the Chugiak Community Council recently.