Hunter Elementary

Hunter Elementary School, 1630 Gillam Way, closed Thursday amid structural concerns. 

Hunter Elementary School was abruptly evacuated Thursday morning due to roof structural concerns, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Students were taken to nearby Lathrop High School, and parents were asked to fetch them.

Engineers are checking for structural inadequacies at the school, located at 1630 Gillam Way, according to Yumi McCulloch, director of public relations at the school district.

Parents were alerted of the problem shortly after 10 a.m. School for Hunter students was canceled for the remainder of the day.

“Teachers will touch base with students and families on Friday to assess needs and provide support,” Superintendent Karen Gaborik wrote in an email to Hunter families and school staff.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” she wrote in a separate email.

The problem came to light after a staff member noticed a “large crack above the windows that wasn’t there yesterday and reported it to the office,” according to McCulloch.

School officials then contacted the district facilities maintenance department.

When asked if the problem was related to snow load or a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near Cantwell on Thursday, McCulloch said it’s not clear. The quake was felt in Fairbanks and throughout the Interior.

Hunter has 377 students, according to a school profile by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her at