Anchorage-based First National Bank of Alaska purchased the Bill Ray Center for $3.1 million from the University of Alaska Southeast, the bank announced Monday.
John Pugh, UAS chancellor, said the sale will allow the University of Alaska Anchorage nursing program and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension program to lease space in the building for at least the next year until the programs make decisions about whether they want to stay in the building.
The building is located downtown on F Street, near the Juneau side of the Douglas Bridge.
“We’re still discussing with UAA nursing about coming to campus,” Pugh said. Pugh said money from the sale would mainly go toward funding the second phase of construction on the new 120-bed residence hall on campus.
“Then what we’ll be doing is the renovation on the Hendrickson building to include many of the services that were at the Bill Ray Center,” Pugh said. “It’s been an exciting time fulfilling our master plan of consolidating our campus.”
Luke Fanning, vice president and Southeast regional manager for the bank, said in a statement that there were no immediate plans to change the name of the of the building. Fanning also said he didn’t anticipate any immediate major changes to the building. He said the purchase of the building would allow the bank’s Channel Branch to expand into one of the Bill Ray Center’s two parking lots.
“It’s an older branch and we just don’t have enough room to serve the customer base that we have in downtown,” Fanning said. “We’re going to have more information soon on what we do end up doing with that property, but it’s too early yet.”
The 22,000 square foot building was named after former Alaska legislator and Juneau resident Bill Ray. Ray died last week on Sept. 9.