School District, Voznesenka agree on lease

Voznesenka School will remain open next fall.

After nearly two years of talks, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Voznesenka Community Council Inc., signed a 5-year building lease Monday. Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones updated the Board of Education on the resolution during a scheduled worksession.

“One good thing is that Zen (board member John Kelly) got involved,” Jones said.

Kelly represents residents in Homer, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Seldovia and the Russian Old Believer villages on East End Road. Jones said the board member’s presence added to recent discussions by providing assurances to the Voznesenka community that the school district wanted to continue to offer classes at the school.

“I just showed up and smiled,” Kelly said. “That’s all I did.”

For more than three months, a single sticking point, the cost of water, held up negotiations. VCCI originally requested an additional $1,000 monthly for potable water the Voznesenka Water Utility Inc., was supplying to the leased buildings. In early 2016, VCCI dropped the request to $750.

The school district was also delivering bottled water to the school, and spent $2,800 annually on the purchases, Jones said. The school district agreed to eliminate the additional source of water, and will pay VCCI roughly $234 per month, or $2,800 annually with the newly freed funds, he said.

It was a “last, best effort to get an agreement,” Jones said.

The payments for water will not begin until July 1, he said.

The lease includes the $1.05 per-square-foot value determined in the 2015 appraisal completed by Soldotna-based Derry & Associates Inc., and a 2 percent annual escalator, Jones said.

Board members responded favorably to the agreement, but asked why they were not required to sign off on the lease before it was finalized. Jones said traditionally the lease has not been put before the board for approval largely because it is an item that is already budgeted for each year.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River dipnetting closed; Kasilof to close Sunday

The Kasilof River dipnet fishery is reportedly slow, but fish are being caught

Silver salmon hang in the Seward Boat Harbor during the 2018 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo courtesy of Seward Chamber of Commerce)
Seward Silver Salmon derby runs Aug. 13-21

Last year’s derby featured 1,800 contestants competing across eight days

Rayna Reynolds tends to her cow at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Animals take the stage at 4-H expo

Contestants were judged on the quality of the animal or showmanship of the handler

Emily Matthews and Andy Kowalczyk pose outside the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies headquarters on Friday, July 29, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Charlie Menke/Homer News)
AmeriCorps volunteers aid Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The 10-month commitment pushed them outside of comfort zones

People gather in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, for Salmonfest, an annual event that raises awareness about salmon-related causes. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
All about the salmon

Fish, love and music return to Ninilchik

Alaska State Veterinarian Dr. Bob Gerlach gives a presentation on Avian Influenza Virus at the 4-H Agriculture Expo in Soldotna, Alaska, on Aug. 5, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to outreach, education amid bird flu outbreak

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is spreading in Alaska

Fencing surrounds the 4th Avenue Theatre in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. Demolition will begin in August 2022 on the once-opulent downtown Anchorage movie theater designed by the architect of Hollywood’s famed Pantages Theatre. The 4th Avenue Theatre with nearly 1,000 seats opened in 1947, and it withstood the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Efforts fail to save historic Anchorage theater from demolition

Anchorage entrepreneur Austin “Cap” Lathrop opened the 4th Avenue Theatre, with nearly 1,000 seats, on May 31, 1947

Mimi Israelah, center, cheers for Donald Trump inside the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska, during a rally Saturday July 9, 2022. Two Anchorage police officers violated department policy during a traffic stop last month when Israelah, in town for a rally by former President Donald Trump showed a “white privilege card” instead of a driver’s license and was not ticketed. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Alaska officers violated policy in ‘white privilege’ stop

The top of the novelty card reads: “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”

Ashlyn O’Hara / Peninsula Clarion file 
Alaska LNG Project Manager Brad Chastain presents information about the project during a luncheon at the Kenai Chamber Commerce and Visitor Center on July 6.
Local leaders voice support for LNG project

Local municipalities are making their support for the Alaska LNG Project known

Most Read