University board of regents OKs bonds for science facility

The only thing that will limit our growth both on the student side and on the research side is the ability to provide laboratories.

Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2005

FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Board of Regents has approved a revenue bond package that would pay for completion of a new science facility under construction at the Fairbanks campus.

The package includes nearly $4.9 million for the Biological Research and Diagnostics Facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as well as $8.9 million for other projects at the Fairbanks campus.

The $19 million biology building is the first of two the university hopes to build on its West Ridge to provide more research and classroom space, according to Kathleen Schedler, associate vice chancellor for facilities and safety at UAF.

"The only thing that will limit our growth both on the student side and on the research side is the ability to provide laboratories," Schedler said.

The first $14.4 million came from the state as part of its 2002 general obligation bond package.

The 40,000-square-foot building is expected to be finished in 2006 and will include facilities for small research animals, space for necropsies and an incinerator.

The second part of the plan for biology buildings on the West Ridge includes a 100,000-square-foot research and teaching facility slated for completion in 2010, Schedler said.

The buildings represent a new emphasis on health sciences at the university, said Brian Barnes, director of the Institute of Arctic Biology. The university had focused on basic biology, wildlife biology and conservation biology, he said.

The bond package also includes $780,000 for expansion of the Kachemak Bay Branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage and nearly $11 million in bonds the university is refinancing to get a lower interest rate.

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