Regents Approve Multiple Construction and Maintenance Projects
The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved multiple construction and maintenance projects throughout the state during a two-day meeting that wrapped up in Anchorage on Friday. Approved projects include schematic design of the engineering buildings in Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as the UAA Mat-Su Valley Center for Arts and Learning. Formal approval of the Main Apartment Complex (MAC) housing renewal at UAA was granted and the UAA campus master plan amended to include the engineering parking garage. Also approved were schematics of phase 2 for electrical upgrades at UAF. "All projects were approved as proposed with a few questions about egresses, green spaces and varied specific design concerns. These are not just dirt piles but the spectacular picture of the progress going on our campuses,” said Regent Kirk Wickersham. Regents approved naming the ridge on the UAF campus generally referred to as the West Ridge, Troth Yeddha’. During public testimony Native elders, linguists and others testified to the importance of the recognition of the ridge where the university is built by its Athabaskan place name, translated as “wild potato ridge.” Recognition of the place name reinforces the connection between the University of Alaska’s mission and Native culture. President Pat Gamble presented the annual "Staff Make Students Count" award to four UA staffers for their outstanding service to students: Marsha Squires, UAS; Kathy Smith, UAA; Joe Hayes, UAF; Kate Wattum UA. The staff members were nominated by their peers, and selected by their local governance groups. "Giving out this award warms the heart. These individuals have been selected by their peers and have truly gone above and beyond," Gamble said. The regents enjoyed a tour of the newly completed Health Sciences Building at UAA. Board of Regents Chair Pat Jacobson said, "The building is stunning and clearly state-of-the-art." The tour included a visit to the medical simulation rooms, teaching/examine stations, smart classrooms and cadaver lab. The Health Sciences Building was completed in August 2011 and the programs are specifically designed to prepare graduates for work in Alaska's rapidly growing health care industry.