The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Editor, Valdez Star 

Elementary school access will be ready when school begins Monday

Project on W. Klutina Street has blocked the main entryway to Hermon Hutchins


August 15, 2018

The elementary school has a very large check list to prepare for the first day of school this year.

In addition to making sure classrooms have enough desks and the cafeteria is ready to serve meals, school officials are anxious to make sure that there is good access to Hermon Hutchens Elementary School.

To get into the school, visitors and staff alike have been forced to drive all the way down Pioneer Dr. and continue down the road where a dirt road appears, then follow it around where it leads to the district office for Valdez City Schools and the back of the elementary school.

District superintendent Shawn Arnold said Monday that city officials have assured him that the W. Klutina entrance, where buses drop off students, and the drive-through area where parents drop off students on Pioneer Dr., will both be assessible when school opens for students this coming Tuesday.

Principal Melissa Reese said the school's recent registration period, which ended Monday, went well despite some challenges associated with getting to the school grounds.

Traffic down W. Klutina has been limited to residents on the street, and the ban on traffic has included school and district staff attempting to get to work.

The staff entrances to both buildings is W. Klutina.

Valdez Star photo

The superintendent, Shawn Arnold, and principal, Melissa Reese, show the best way to enter Hermon Hutchens Elementary School in the days before school begins.

Arnold cited a few instances where he was denied entrance to the district office from both the W. Klutina and the dirt road extension on Pioneer Dr.

The roads are not the only construction in the area. The elementary school building itself has undergone major changes over the summer – and work crews are working double-time to clean up and make sure the new windows and other big improvements are ready for staff and students for the new school year.

School begins Monday for grades 1 through 12. Kindergarten begins later, on August 29.

This school year introduces Valdez to its new district superintendent.

Arnold, who comes to Valdez by way of Nome, held an open house for parents last week, and has said that his door is always open to address community concerns.


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