Supporters seek $17.1 million for school

Special election requests funds for auditorium, field

Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2007

Parents, students and community members worked Wednesday on a voter pamphlet for a special election requesting $17.1 million additional funding for Thunder Mountain High School.

Sound off on the important issues at

The document by the Juneau Working Group elaborates three propositions for the June 12 special municipal election ballot.

Due to rising construction costs, the current budget for Thunder Mountain does not cover an auditorium, a track and artificial turf field, or new desks and computers.

School officials hope voters will approve the three propositions, worth a total of $17.1 million in bonds. All three projects qualify under the state's 70 percent reimbursement plan, meaning Juneau would pay just 30 percent of the total.

Absentee voting begins Tuesday, May 29.

"People were hoping the school would come in on budget, and so there is some disappointment," Juneau School Board member Andi Story said.

"But because of the cost of steel and the unfortunate incidents that have happened in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina) and other areas, there's lots of building going on. (The cost overruns are) not unique to Juneau."

• Proposition 1 asks voters to approve $11.18 million in bonds for completion of a 500-seat school and community auditorium.

As it stands now, there's enough money in the construction project to build an exterior shell. That would leave an insulated but empty skeleton in the middle of the school.

With bond money, officials hope to add seats, catwalks and lighting, an audio/video sound system, fly lofts for sets and an orchestra pit.

• Proposition 2 asks for $5 million in bonds to build an artificial turf field and track for Thunder Mountain that's similar to the one at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

The new field would include scoreboards, bleacher seats and lights. The current field is sand and there is no track.

• Proposition 3 requests $920,000 in bonds for new desks, computers, library books, musical instruments and laboratory gear.

• A fourth proposition - $4.5 million for safety improvements on Riverside Drive - was considered this spring but not approved for the June 12 ballot.

Here are the proposed schematics for a completed auditorium at Thunder

Mountain High School.

Overall First Floor Plan in PDF format

Auditorium Plan in PDF format

• Korry Keeker can be reached at

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