UAF considers closing three residence halls, moving hockey to Patty Center to cut costs

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is considering moving all of its college hockey games from the Carlson Center to the Patty Center and closing three lower campus dorms to save money.

It won't be popular, but it makes sense, given the 41 percent budget cuts for UA proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his temporary budget director.

UAF Chancellor Dan White said, “I am reluctant to set in motion changes that would be needed for stark scenarios that cannot be undone if the budget situation improves. That said, we are actively looking at ways we can manage our budget that are consistent with how we want to position ourselves for the future.”

Here are various money-saving plans mentioned today by White:

  • Vacate the storage facility off Aurora Drive and move those employees, materials and functions onto campus for better engagement with the rest of the university community. This move would require improvements to the “deer yard” for more organized storage. The existing building on Aurora Drive could be sold.

  • Work within the existing space in the core campus and the Rasmuson Library to create a student engagement center that streamlines operations of multiple units and puts student service at the center of what we do.

  • Move Administrative Services onto campus where they can engage with faculty, staff and students more easily. The existing building on College Road could be sold.

  • Discontinue use of on-campus facilities that have outlived their usefulness, and relocate functions into more useable and efficient space. Examples under review could include specific farm buildings or consolidating some greenhouse use.

  • Move the UA Museum of the North maceration lab into existing and underutilized space so that the current ATCO unit use can be discontinued.

  • Suspend use of three of the four residence halls around Lola Tilly Commons to fully utilize other existing halls.

  • Reduce or eliminate ATCO use on campus and improve space within existing facilities for current activities.

  • Eliminate several single-family homes on campus that are currently unused, used for storage, or host uses that are more appropriate in other locations on campus.

  • Suspend use of the Carlson Center ice by making renovations to the Patty Center that would allow Nanook hockey to play on campus.

  • Renovate Constitution Hall to allow for ADA accessibility improvements and more efficient use.

Dermot Cole1 Comment