Joe Redington Junior and Senior High School breaks ground


by Jessica Gruenling

MAT-SU BOROUGH--  It was  day for hard hats, shovels, and because of the weather rain gear as parents, board members and state representatives gathered to break ground on the soon to be Joe Redington Junior and Senior High School. 

"Words can't describe how excited we are for this, it's really going to help us address some of our growth needs and really build a healthy community," Gene Stone, Assistant Superintendent, Mat Su Borough School District.

Patty Sullivan, Public Affairs Director Mat-su Borough

"It's a large school so it's really exciting to have all of the support today," Patty Sullivan, Public Affairs Director, Mat Su Borough.

Now lets take a step back to where the projected started, in 2011 the Mat Su Borough community approved a 214 million dollar school bond.

Susan Pougher, President Mat su borough school board
"That's huge, Anchorage has struggled to get smaller bonds passed, the valley really supports education and we want the best for our students," Susan Pougher, President. Mat Su Borough School Board.

65 milliong of that bond will go towards funding the schools grounds and local residents will be looking at 22 million in property taxes.

"It's a time when our infrastructure is beginning to catch up with our population increase, this community is the fifth largest in Alaska, it's called Knik Fairview and it grew by something like 125 percent in a decade," Sullivan. 

The 108 acre campus will not only hold the junior and senior high school, but in the near future a new elementary school, a seprate high school, and athletic fields.

"It's just a mini explosion. It just continues we've added about 4,000 students to our school district in the last ten years and we anticipate just continued growth," Stone.

The school district is the largest employer in the Mat Su Borough with more than 2,000 employees and this new school will only help the borough economically.

"Certainly it's going to add opportunities out here, people have to have grocery stores and gas stations, so it really helps compound that whole infrastructure and provide employment opportunities across the board for folks," Stone.

As most Alaskasn will recognize, Joe Redington Junior and Senior High School is already iconic with its name. After a vote put out to the community they decided to name the school after the Iditarod musher and honor him for all he has done for the community and his support for education.