Anchorage school damaged by fire to be razed

Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The old fire-damaged Russian Jack Elementary School will be torn down instead of being renovated for office space, the Anchorage Assembly decided Tuesday.

The Assembly voted 11-0 to demolish the building, which was damaged by fire in December 1998.

Assemblywoman Cheryl Clementson, who sponsored the ordinance, said putting an office building next to an elementary school wouldn't be appropriate.

The zoning commission last spring told the school district it had to remove the old building and replace it with ball fields as a condition for approving construction of a new Russian Jack Elementary nearby.

Using the existing building would have been expensive. The fire burned a small portion of the school, but damage to the roof, mechanical and electrical systems would have required nearly $6.9 million in renovations.

State law requires that the Assembly decide the fate of the building since the city owns it.

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