Gruening Middle School closed for the rest of the school year due to earthquake damage

Today, the Anchorage School District announced that Gruening Middle School will be closed for the remainder of the school year due to damage sustained during Friday’s earthquake.

ASD Chief Operating Officer Tom Roth says the building is structurally sound. However, concrete facade in the building took major damage.

“Some of that concrete facade has failed, has broken away, particularly where it attaches to some of the structural steel members of the building,” Roth said. “The steel is fine. It performed exactly the way it was designed.”

Roth says there was also a gas leak that the district believes is under concrete near the school’s cafeteria.

Students at Gruening will be relocated to Chugiak High School, where Roth says 17 classrooms have been made available so far. Superintendent Deena Bishop says Gruening staff will also relocate to Chugiak High.

“We are gonna have full staffs because right when this is over, we’re going to have Gruening back again,” Bishop said. “So we don’t look to reduce any positions at this time or make any other transfers.”

Gruening is the third school that will be closed the rest of the school year as a result of Friday’s quake. The other two are Eagle River Elementary and Houston Middle School in the Mat-Su School District.

Bishop says every other ASD school should be ready for students on Monday, December 10.