City OKs bond sales for school design, repair

Revenue to cover design of new high school, JDHS repairs

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2000

To keep several high school projects on track, the Juneau Assembly on Monday approved the sale of $2.2 million in bonds, which will cost property owners $11 per $100,000 of assessed value a year.

Proceeds will pay to continue the design of the proposed new high school, renovations to Juneau-Douglas High School and to demolish an old building near JDHS.

Voters approved the bonds in the October 1999 election as part of a $63 million package. It included $50 million to build and furnish a new high school at Dimond Park, and $13 million to renovate JDHS.

Sale of all but $3 million of the $63 million in bonds is contingent on getting partial state reimbursement for construction costs. The Legislature hasn't authorized reimbursement yet.

The city already has sold $657,000 in bonds. The new bonds will go on sale in October. In all, the bonds will cost property owners $13 per $100,000 of assessed property annually for 15 years.

The city has awarded the first phase of design contracts, for a total of $479,724, to Minch-Ritter-Voelckers Architects of Juneau, said City Architect Catherine Fritz.

The city has scheduled an open house Sept. 13 at the JDHS library to show what improvements to JDHS can be made from the $13 million.

Conceptual designs for the new high school's interior will be available at an open house Sept. 21 at the JDHS library. Other meetings will be held in the fall on topics such as school security, traffic, the theaters and food service.

Of the $3 million in bond proceeds, $2 million is intended for design, and up to $1 million is allotted to demolish the old state ferry building near JDHS and grade the site. The state has agreed to give the building to the city.

The ferry building could be torn down next summer, Fritz said. Eventually, the city and school district will decide on a permanent use for the site, which could include a playing field or parking.

The design money, which will carry the projects through what's called schematic design, will run out by next spring, Fritz said.

"That's why it's absolutely critical we get funded this legislative session," she said.

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