One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Borough, school district seeks to extend state infrastructure grant

The biggest project would be the construction of a new school in Kachemak Selo.

  • By Victoria Petersen For the Peninsula Clarion
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:30am
  • NewsSchools

The Kenai Peninsula Borough and Borough School District still have their eyes on a new school in Kachemak-Selo, and a request to extend a state grant to help fund much of the school’s construction is being reviewed by the Department of Education and Early Development.

District Superintendent John O’Brien said at the July 13 district board of education meeting that the state’s education department is reviewing the borough’s request.

O’Brien said Mayor Charlie Pierce requested an extension on the grant when the district and borough decided to push back a $30 million school construction bond to next year’s election cycle. At the July 13 meeting, O’Brien said it is the borough and district’s intent to go to voters with a bond package in the fall of 2021.

The $29,940,000 bond proposal tackles 19 school projects considered a “priority and critical to maintaining key infrastructure for both community and educational needs,” a Feb. 4 school board resolution said.

The biggest project in the proposed bond package would be the construction of a new school in Kachemak Selo, which could take advantage of more than $10 million in state funds, if the state will grant a deadline extension. Currently, the grant has a deadline of June 2021.

K-Selo has been in need of a new school for nearly 10 years. In 2011, the village petitioned the school board for a new facility. In 2016, the state appropriated $10,010,000 for construction of the school, but in order to proceed the borough needed to provide a match.

The state’s grant has already been extended once. In the October 2018 election, peninsula voters denied to fund the $5.5 million to build a new school in Kachemak-Selo. In early 2019, the borough asked the department for a seven-year extension on the grant, but only received two additional years to use the $10 million in matching funds.

The current school in Kachemak-Selo is made up of three borough-leased buildings and serves about 46 students. The borough and district have said the current school has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer viable as an educational facility.

More in News

Commercial fishing boats are rafted together in May 2016 in the harbor in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
States expands small business grants

The AK CARES Grant program is being modified in response to calls for changes.

Alaska Army National Guard soldiers use a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to remove an abandoned bus, popularized by the book and movie “Into the Wild,” out of its location in the Alaska backcountry. The state Department of Natural Resources said Thursday, July 30, that it intends to negotiate with the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North in Fairbanks to display the bus. (Sgt. Seth LaCount/Alaska National Guard via AP, File)
‘Into the Wild’ bus likely lands a new home

An infamous bus appears headed to a new home at a museum.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers create diverse local food system

I had an inspiring conversation recently with Carolina Behe of the Inuit… Continue reading

Painted signs posted at the candlelight vigil held for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at WKFL Park in Homer, Alaska, affirm love for Murnane and beseech her safe return. (Photo by Delcenia Cosman)
Virtual birthday party to be held for missing Homer woman

A virtual birthday party is being held to honor a Homer woman… Continue reading

Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)
City council to vote on additional grant programs

The Homer City Council tweaked its program for relief grants for small… Continue reading

Homer City Hall. (Homer News file photo)
Filing period opens for Homer City Council, Mayor seats

The filing period for the local municipal election has opened, and interested… Continue reading

Rep. Gary Knopp is seen in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Jayme Jones)
Lawmakers remember colleague killed in crash

State Rep. Gary Knopp, who represented Kenai-Soldotna area, was one of seven people killed Friday.

Sarah Vance poses for a photo on June 12, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Hannah Vance)
Sarah Vance runs for 2nd House of Representatives term

Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) is making a run at a second term… Continue reading

Image via Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
KPBSD to require face coverings; Board OKs raise for school nurses

The increase in pay is set to expire at the end of 2020-2021 school year.

Most Read