Funding For Napakiak School Demolition Passes Alaska House Of Representatives
Napakiak’s school building may not fall in the Kuskokwim River after all. The Alaska House of Representatives passed a budget bill on Aug. 31 that includes $3.1 million for the school's demolition.
Napakiak principal Sally Benedict said that the school sits about 30 feet from the Kuskokwim River during high tide. The riverbank has been eroding away for decades, but has accelerated in recent years. It’s possible that the water will reach the school during this academic year.
The House budget bill to demolish the school could provide the funding to avert that disaster. The bill is headed to the state's Senate Finance Committee, which Y-K Delta senator Lyman Hoffman is a member of.
The bill the house passed does not include funding to build a new school in Napakiak. LKSD and the Alaska Department of Education agree that it is likely that students in Napakiak will be without a school building for at least a few years once the existing one is torn down or uninhabitable.
The school has already moved some students out of the building into portable classrooms. More are slated to do so in the coming months as the Kuskokwim River continues to encroach.