"Chugiak High Ground Breaking"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 19:00

From the Knik Arm Courier, Sept. 4, 1963:


Approximately one hundred and fifty persons turned out last Saturday to attend the official ground breaking ceremony of Chugiak High School.

Special guest for the occasion were educators and persons associated with the OCHS movement, with Governor William A. Egan wielding the symbolic shovel.

The program began at 10:30 a.m., when the governor and party arrived, escorted by Dave Burns and Bill Hembrey of the Last Frontier Motorcycle Club of this community.

Ed Willis, chairman of the Chugiak Advisory School Board and former co-chairman of Operation Chugiak High School, introduced the guest and gave a short summation of the OCHS movement.

The invocation was given by Rev. Wayne Hull of the Chugiak Methodist Church and past chairman of the advisory school board.

Special guests attending, besides the governor, architects and contractors involved in the school’s construction, were representatives of the Dept. of Education; the State PTA; Anchorage Independent School District and local representatives including Chugiak High School principal, Mr. Cline; and Chugiak Elementary principal, Mr. Benish. Other guests honored that were involved in this project were Dale Pierson, Al Tanner, Mrs. Leon Hartman, James Ekstedt, Virgil Flint, Mike Alex representing Eklutna Village and Ed Bellringer representing the Knik Arm Courier.

The gold plated shovel, donated for the occasion by the J.B. Warrack Company, was handed to Governor Egan by Mrs. Hartmann, representing the Chugiak PTA, where the OCHS movement was born.

The ceremony was closed with a benediction by Rev. Bernard Tewell of the Chugiak Chapel.


Note: Chugiak High School opened its doors in the fall of 1964. Watch for numerous 50th anniversary celebrations next year.


This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at [email protected] or leave a message at 688-4706.

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