The cost of recovery for schools damaged by an earthquake in Anchorage could exceed an initial estimate of $25 million to $50 million, the superintendent of the Anchorage School District said.
Deena Bishop told state lawmakers this week that the district has invoiced or paid more than $22 million in repairs following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that affected Anchorage and other parts of south-central Alaska in November.
Bishop said that does not include the district's 15 most-damaged schools.
Bishop was among the officials who addressed the Senate Education Committee, which heard presentations on earthquake damage to schools, the Anchorage Daily News reported .
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After the meeting, Bishop said subsurface conditions have caused Gruening Middle School to sink slightly with each significant aftershock. That school and Eagle River Elementary have been closed for this school year.
Mike Brown, executive director of operations for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, said repair costs in his district have reached $1.8 million, not including Houston Middle School, which has been declared unsafe.
"At this point we do know Houston Middle damage is in the millions of dollars, with complete replacement a possibility," he said.
Tim Edwards, chief risk officer for the University of Alaska, said earthquake repairs are mostly complete on the more than 60 facilities within the university system that were damaged.
He said the system is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the reimbursement process. So far, he said the university has spent more than $4 million in repairs.