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UAF, Private Partner Plan Dining, Residence Hall Facilities


Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks has contracted with a private company to develop new 
dining and residence hall facilities adjacent to Wood Center.

Construction on the dining facility, which will replace the aging Lola Tilly Commons, is slated to begin in 
March 2013. The 34,000-square-foot dining facility would be an addition to Wood Center and would include a 
ground-level coffee shop, a new marche-style dining area and remodeled student services offices. Financing 
and design plans for the new facility are scheduled to go before the UA Board of Regents in the fall. If 
approved, the new facility will open in August 2014.

The new residence halls will be built along Copper Lane, from the area across the street from the 
Moore-Bartlett-Skarland complex to the new dining facility. Three 100-bed buildings with suite-style 
accommodations are planned. The goal is to start construction on the new residence halls in 2014, with an eye 
on having them ready for students to move in at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

The projects are a new model of capital construction for UAF: a public-private partnership. UAF has 
contracted the majority of the capital proces--including financing, design, architecture and construction--
to Lorig Associates of Seattle. Lorig has contracted with several Alaska companies, including Ghemm Company 
and Design Alaska, to work on the projects, while the university's project manager guides the project through 
completion. Once they are complete, UAF will lease-to-own the buildings from Lorig.

The public-private partnership model allows UAF to make improvements to the campus' student-life facilities 
while limiting the amount of funding needed from the state. UAF plans to fund the dining facility lease 
payments with room and board plan revenue and ask the Board of Regents to include a portion of the residence 
hall facility's lease payment in its state budget request.

"The expansion of Wood Center through a new dining facility will significantly increase programming 
opportunities in our student center," said Mike Sfraga, vice chancellor for university and student 
advancement. "Coupled with the planned addition of three residence halls, these new student-focused 
facilities will transform the student experience at UAF."
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