A plan to build an outdoor pavilion on the University of Alaska Southeast campus received a major boost last week when it received $150,000 in grants from the Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation.
The planned Noyes Pavilion will be a covered, open-air, 2,825-square-foot pavilion and stage with seating for 300 people, with construction expected to start this spring.
Two-thirds of the Rasmuson Foundation money will be given to UAS by the end of this year; the remaining $50,000 will be a challenge grant to match local pledges.
UAS Chancellor John Pugh said the Rasmuson funds will put the fund-raising effort at its $525,000 goal.
"The grant of $100,000 puts us at $425,000," Pugh said, noting that the matching funds grant will meet the goal. "We just started in August, and it's pretty rapid development for us to reach (that amount) that fast."
Pugh said Friday that $14,000 in matching funds already had been raised by last week. Originally, officials were not even going to start community fund-raising efforts until next month.
Rasmuson Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan said the pavilion grant met foundation goals of something with long-lasting benefit and with the support of the community.
"Our trustees place emphasis on funding projects where there is clear local support," she said.
Kaplan also said Pugh's energy and drive to raise the pavilion funds were a major factor. "His enthusiasm caused us to be enthusiastic about it," she said.
Pugh said the pavilion and its associated landscaping will help "finish off" the campus, which has been undergoing major changes with the construction of a classroom addition to Egan Library.
He said the pavilion's value will extend beyond UAS to the entire community.
"It's going to be utilized for class sessions, by a number of the arts groups in the community - it's going to be wide-open," Pugh said. "There's a number of groups lining up to use it."
The Noyes Pavilion is named in honor of John and Lily Noyes. John Noyes was Alaska National Guard adjutant general when he died in a plane crash near Nome in 1956. The Noyes family made a significant donation to the project to begin the fund-raising effort earlier this year.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.