PALMER — The Mat-Su Borough School Board voted unanimously to approve the 95 percent design of a new Houston Middle school building.
The building that operated originally as Houston High School and then as Houston Middle School had stood since 1985 and demolition on the building began last year. At the School Board meeting on Dec. 16, the agenda item unanimously passed the school board after previously passing the Mat-Su Borough Assembly.
“This issue has been discussed thoroughly numerous times and including with the Borough meeting just this last month,” said School Board President Ole Larson.
On Sept. 15, the Mat-Su Borough voted to condemn Houston Middle School, which was damaged in the November 2018 magnitude 7.1 Earthquake. Concrete Masonry Unit walls stacked with cinderblocks directly on top of one another were determined to be the cause of much of the damage, that was built to code in 1985. More than 300 students moved across the street for the Spring semester in 2019 to take classes at Houston Jr. Sr. High. The MSBSD and Mat-Su Borough scrambled to relocate 13 portable classrooms for use at HJSH. A final cost of building and entirely new building has not yet been determined, but is expected late in February. Following demolition, construction is set to begin late this year with students finally able to take classes at Houston Middle School in the fall semester of 2022.