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Badger Road ELementary School front doors.

F-35s at Eielson have schools preparing for influx

by Dan Bross, KUAC

The basing of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base will increase the number of school-age kids in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

A federally-funded borough growth plan projects a six percent increase over the next decade. That equates to adding 1,900 students to an existing baseline of 30,000 kids through 2030. Consultant Shelly Beck shared education aspects of the plan with the school board at a meeting Tuesday night. Beck says most of the additional students will be elementary age.

”That’s not surprising as we have a lot of young families that come as part of our active duty personnel,” Beck said.

Beck says the new students can be accommodated if spread out district-wide, but most will go to North Pole area schools.

”So we see, with the elementary schools and with the middle schools that we’re starting to reach a place where, potentially, we would not have the capacity to take on these new 17-and-under school-age kids,” Beck said.

Read more at Alaska Public Media