A project agreement between the state and the borough could mark the start of the long-awaited final phase of renovations to Barnette Magnet School.
The Department of Education and Early Development sent the school district a copy of a project agreement outlining a partial-reimbursement for the remodel, with the Fairbanks North Star Borough covering the rest of the cost.
“We forwarded that to the borough to sign,” said Mark Nilson, director of facility services with the school district.
In total, the project is expected to cost $11,331,881. The borough would need to contribute $3,966,158 in order for the state to release the full $7,365,723, according to Nilson.
Where the borough will get its share from has yet to be determined.
Barnette has ranked high among capital improvement priorities as it is one of the oldest schools in Fairbanks. Renovations initially began in 2002 and continued, funded by bond measures and a grant, until 2013. Phase IV of the project, the final phase, has been on hold for several years.
This final phase includes completion of a full renovation in the portion of the building constructed in the 1960s, including a new and extended heat system, updated ventilation, upgraded lighting, asbestos remediation and updated phone, intercom and fire alarm systems, among other changes. It would also see the demolition, due to seismic concerns, of a wing built in the 1970s.
Should the borough sign the agreement, Nilson has an approximate timeline for the project, though he cautions that the dates are estimates.
• May or June of 2020, the Borough Assembly would approve the borough’s share of project as part of fiscal 2021 budget and send documentation to the state.
• July to September 2020, the borough assigns a project manager.
• In October 2020, a consulting firm would be hired. Plans would then be reviewed from November 2020 through January 2021.
• In February 2021, the project would go up for bid, then a bid would be awarded in March.
• The first phase of the project, demolition of the old wing and installation of a kindergarten playground, would then begin in May 2021.
• The second phase, which would include the interior and exterior remodel, would begin in May 2022.
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter at: twitter.com/FDNMlocal