Bristol Bay Borough makes headway on school renovations

Dec 15, 2017

The Bristol Bay Borough School is getting a number of energy efficient upgrades. The architecture firm working with the borough on the project anticipates that it will be complete by mid-March.

Credit KDLG

Classrooms in the Bristol Bay Borough School can be chilly. On some days in the winter, indoor temperatures dip near 60 degrees. But this weekend, the school will get a new heat exchanger, which should warm the place up. It’s part of a larger renovation project.

In June, the Bristol Bay Borough appropriated $3.6 million from its general fund for some long awaited school facility updates. The project includes replacing the heat exchanger and parts of the roof, upgrading lighting and air handler unit motors and addressing plumbing problems. In addition to warming up the classrooms, the school could save as much as $20,000 on its electric bill annually, thanks to the energy efficient upgrades.

Dena Strait an architect with Bettisworth North Architects and Planners, which is the primary consultant on the design team for the project, offered an update at the last borough assembly meeting. She said that the project is going very smoothly.

“We are about 65 to 75 percent complete through construction and at the end of January will be substantial completion,” said Strait.

The borough received a $300,000 grant from the Alaska Energy Authority’s Village Energy Efficiency Program for the project. Strait is optimistic that another grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will reimburse the borough for a significant portion of the money they have spent, potentially about $2,523,300.

Strait expects construction and inspections to be completely finished by mid-March.

Contact the author at or 907-842-5281.