Auke Bay Elementary renovations on schedule

School to be ready before Aug. 20

Final phases have begun on renovations to the Auke Bay Elementary School with an eye toward completion before school starts this autumn.

Catherine Wilkins, the City and Borough of Juneau project architect and manager, said construction should be finished in time for students to attend in the fall.

“Things are coming along and we anticipate that it’ll be open for business (this fall),” Wilkins said. “The construction is coming along so well. The temporary classrooms that were put up on the playground last year, those have not been torn down. In a pinch, we would end up having to reuse one of those classrooms and I just don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

Project completion is aimed for sometime before the Aug. 20 opening day, according to Wilkins.

“We know that our staff, students and families are eager to see the new space and that the contractor is working hard to get it done on schedule,” said Kristin Bartlett, Juneau School District chief of staff.

McGraw Construction began work about a year ago on the project estimated at a total cost of $22 million. Jensen Yorba Lott was the architectural firm hired for the project.

A complete overhaul to the school’s telecommunication, data, mechanical, electrical, fire alarm and public address systems was undertaken along with replacing the roof and reworking traffic patterns in and out of the school.

With a new geothermal heating system, the school will run entirely on electricity, not fossil fuels.

When Phase One was completed in January, Wilkins said the students were looking forward to its completion.

“The kids were very enthused,” Wilkins said. “It’s been one of the most cheerful construction sites I’ve ever worked on.”

Contact reporter Kenneth Rosen at 523-2250 or at


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