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Roof Replacement for Nome Beltz Funded in FY25 State Budget

Nome-Beltz Jr/Sr High School
Nome-Beltz Middle High School. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

Nome-Beltz Middle High School is set to receive a much-needed roof replacement, thanks to funding from the FY2025 State of Alaska budget finalized on June 28. The Major Maintenance Grant Fund allocated an additional $2,655,062 for the project that was ranked 18th on the state’s priority list. 

The roof replacement has been on the wish list for years as water leaks plagued spaces across the facility. Nome Public Schools (NPS) Superintendent Jamie Burgess shared that maintenance workers have been forced to spend time patching the roof, making for less time to handle other requests.

“Our maintenance guys will spend a lot less time on fixing leaks. Teachers and staff are freaking out about mold and things like that, so now they won’t have to deal with that type of thing anymore,” Burgess said.

NPS began efforts to replace the roof before COVID-19 disrupted education- and state funding. They’ve since squirreled away money in a Capital Projects fund while waiting on the roof project to receive additional funding from the state.

The district will need to once again submit a RFP to confirm current construction costs. When NPS last submitted one in 2022 they split the bid into a base specification and alternates. This was done to potentially splinter the outsized cost of the project into smaller pieces.

The base bid solely entailed replacing roofing above the old school. According to the document, that section was built in 1964 and was last renovated in 2007.

The roof of Nome Beltz Middle High School with a blue highlight over the location of the base bid specification from 2022's RFP. Graphic: Google Earth/ KNOM

Ideally, NPS would replace the entire roof. Whether or not they can will depend on bids returned from the RFP. If they get a decent bid, Burgess says they hope to begin work next summer.

Also included in the final budget is funding for a generator and electrical system replacement, estimated to cost over $2 million. That project ranked 14th on the state’s priority list. Burgess also expects work on the replacement generator to begin in the summer of 2025.

After floating on the state’s Major Maintenance Grant Fund list for years, Burgess is thankful to those that kept pushing the projects on the state level.

“We had a lot of people out there really shaking the trees and saying, ‘Hey, man, you need to help us with some of this’. We're grateful that we got two projects funded."

NPS will use Capital Budget funds to contribute to both projects. Next on NPS’ wish list are improvements to the fire alarm system at Nome Elementary School and security system at both the elementary school and Nome Beltz Middle High School. 

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