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Timeline of Events for the Inlet View School Rebuild

Key Events:

Anchorage School District (ASD), with Inlet View Building Design Committee (BDC) agreement (which did not include any residents living adjacent to the school), decided in April 2021 to pursue a South side building and to demolish the building on the North side. ASD did not inform the community or Anchorage Traffic Department staff of this decision until September.

 

When neighbors adjacent to Inlet View school raised concerns about the South side design in fall 2021, ASD and its consultant Nvision Architecture informed the neighbors that it was too late to change the design. Besides, the non-representative BDC endorsed the decision.

In November 2021, the Anchorage Ombudsman determined that the BDC’s meetings were in violation of the state Open Meetings Act because they had been closed to the public.

ASD Board members deferred to the BDC when voting on the 2022 school bond on November 17, 2021 despite the ASD violating the state Open Meetings Act and the BDC not involving adjacent neighbors before the design decision was made in April.

The Anchorage Urban Design Commission failed to approve the South side design at its March and April 2022 meetings.

The Anchorage school bond failed to pass in April 2022. Inlet View rebuild funding was contained in that bond.

  • On April 6, 2020, Anchorage voters passed the school bond that provided “$3.34 million for the new [Inlet View] school design on the existing site” (emphasis added, https://www.asdk12.org/Page/14977). The existing site is on the north end of the school property.

  • Anchorage School District (ASD) formed a Building Design Committee (BDC) in October 2020 composed of three school parents and seven school staff. No residents living adjacent to the school, i.e., neighbors who would be most impacted by the school design and location, were invited to join the BDC. ASD, including the Inlet View school principal, did not inform the South Addition Community Council (SACC) or adjacent neighbors about formation of the BDC nor of its follow-up meetings and design decisions until the September 23, 2021 SACC meeting, nearly a year later.

  • At the BDC’s first meeting on October 8, 2020 ASD told members that the new school would be approximately 45,000 square feet and would cost $21,875,000 to construct. The three drawings presented by ASD’s consultants showed building designs located on the north side of the property.

  • At its January 5, 2021 meeting, ASD’s consultant Nvision presented eight building designs to the BDC, four on the north side of the property, three on the south side, and one that is located on both sides (i.e., in the middle of the property).

  • At its April 1, 2021 meeting, ASD’s consultant Nvision presented two, more complete, building designs to the BDC, one on the north side and one on the south side. The decision to choose a south side design had major consequences on the neighborhood but was not discussed by the SACC for five months.

  • On June 25, 2021, ASD’s consultant had completed 35% design for a building on the south side, one day after the last SACC meeting for the summer on June 24, 2021.

  • ASD asked Anchorage Municipal Traffic Department staff for its views on the south side school design in mid-September 2021. Staff requested an abbreviated traffic study for the current school that was completed in early October 2021. Traffic staff should be involved this type of design process far earlier since they are limited in how much they can weigh in when designs are further along. 

  • On September 23, 2021, ASD provided a brief presentation of the proposed replacement school near 65% completion to the SACC meeting (65% means trim/finishes and other details of the building are not yet completed, but the building design and location have been set). This meeting was followed by a more complete discussion of the proposed building design and location for SACC members on October 9, 2021.

  • Following the SACC presentations, numerous South Addition community members identified potential problems with the proposed building design and location.

  • Although not all interested participants could join the SACC monthly meeting on October 28, 2021 due to Zoom limitations and the meeting ran out of time to allow full discussion of amendments, the SACC approved a resolution requesting that there be at least one new member on the BDC living adjacent to the school.

  • During an Anchorage School Board work session on October 29, 2021, the cost estimate for the south side Inlet View school rebuild was stated to be about $34,000,000.

  • On November 15, 2021, Anchorage Ombudsman Darryl Hess determined that the BDC had been in violation of the state Open Meetings Act because its meetings were not public.

  • On November 16, 2021, Friends of Inlet View Elementary School provided Superintendent Bishop and ASD Board members with a letter expressing concerns with the south side building design signed by 107 residents, most from South Addition.

  • On November 17, 2021, ASD Board members approved 6-1 the 2022 school bond for more than $111 million including nearly $31 million for the Inlet View school rebuild. To see FIVES's statement on the ASD Board decision, click here.

  • On November 18, 2021, the SACC voted in two new BDC members who live adjacent to the school, Mitch Collum and Sharon Meacham (a former ASD Principal). To see FIVES's statement on the SACC decision, click here.

  • On December 2, 2021, the BDC met for two hours, plus public comment. The BDC included the two elected BDC members, an additional adjacent neighbor who was appointed by ASD – Moira Gallagher – and a former Inlet View staff member who had moved on to another school for a total of 14 BDC members. During the meeting, the BDC reviewed the eight less complete building designs presented to the BDC in January 2021 but not the north and south more complete designs presented to the BDC in April 2021.

  • On December 9, 2021, Paul Baril of Nvision informed the BDC that ASD did not hear anything during the brief December 2, 2021 BDC meeting that changed its view on pursuing the South side building design. Both Mitch Collum and Sharon Meacham objected to that decision because there had not been a full enough discussion of their concerns within the BDC. To see FIVES's statement on ASD's decision to pursue the south side building design, click here.

  • On January 11, 2022, the Anchorage Assembly approved the 2022 school bond that will be voted on by Anchorage residents in April 2022. The Assembly discussed the Inlet View rebuild but, after consulting with counsel, members learned that the building design and location decision was up to ASD. Assemblyman Chris Constant, who represents South Addition, urged ASD to consider changing the school dropoff exit to align with W. 13th Avenue rather than facing residents' homes on Inlet Place. To see FIVES's statement on the Assembly decision, click here.

  • On February 1, 2022, the BDC met and voted down changing the school dropoff exit supported by the three new community BDC members.

  • On February 8, 2022, select members of the BDC - not including the new members favoring the north side location who were not invited - told the Anchorage School Board that the BDC supported the proposed building design on the south side. 

  • Following extensive written and in-person testimony, on March 9, 2022 the Urban Design Commission, which ensures consistency with the Anchorage Comprehensive Plan including Title 21, did not have the five votes needed to approve the proposed school redesign. 

  • The Anchorage school bond failed in the April 5, 2022 municipal election (see here).

  • On April 13, 2022, the Urban Design Commission confirmed that it did not approve the proposed school redesign at its March meeting. In a perplexing and legally questionable move, the Urban Design Commission said it would "renew" the Inlet View application at its June meeting which later was moved to September. The Anchorage school bond failure was not mentioned.