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Earthquake repairs at Anchorage schools could top $150M

July 31, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Repairs and upgrades at Anchorage-area schools damaged last year’s big earthquake could cost more than $150 million, officials said.

The Anchorage School District said the new estimate triples the original assessment of damage caused by the Nov. 30 quake, The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

Two schools need more than $20 million to repair and improve seismic performance. Six schools may require at least $10 million while improvement projects at 14 schools could cost at least $1 million each, officials said.

District officials estimated in December that costs could reach $50 million, but Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop later cautioned the estimate was preliminary and likely to increase.

The new estimate included immediate repairs needed and optional improvements that would improve the quake readiness of schools, said District Chief Operating Officer Tom Roth.

The district has spent between $8 million and $9 million so far on post-quake repairs to return facilities to working condition, Roth said.

Any projects the district endorses will be part of a bond package put before voters and only funding for the highest priority projects will be sought, he said.

“I would envision that proposition going forward to the board will be heavily weighted toward earthquake damage repair,” Roth said.

The federal government is expected to cover 75% of reimbursable earthquake repairs, while the state is expected to cover the remainder through emergency funds. The amount considered related to the earthquake has yet to be determined, he said.

“The intent here is to pursue federal and state funding for the repairs, but it’s a retroactive reimbursement process,” Roth said.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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