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Kodiak district to put to use shuttered school buildings

December 14, 2018

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — District officials are planning to put to use the buildings that housed two Kodiak Island schools that were shut down because of low enrollment.

Kodiak Island Borough School District Superintendent Larry LeDoux said the school buildings in Larsen Bay and Karluk will serve as hubs for general community needs, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Thursday.

The district closed both schools after enrollment dropped below 10 students at each site. Schools with fewer than 10 students cannot qualify for state funding.

“One option would be to simply board them up and cool them down, but that doesn’t work,” LeDoux said. “If you board them up, you just have an empty building.”

Using the buildings will stave off thousands of dollars in deferred maintenance costs needed if the schools are ever reopened, LeDoux said. For the Larsen Bay building, the building could serve as a study hall.

Borough manager Michael Powers said the city of Larsen Bay has been helpful in keeping the building open, noting it has provided utilities.

The building in Karluk has provided some challenges, but the borough is working to resolve any issues, Powers said.

“It has definitely been a cooperative effort to make this happen and in a way that presents the least impact to both communities,” Powers said. “By partnering with the school district and the communities, we think we have as best a solution as possible given the face the schools have closed.”

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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