Like picking the right number on a roulette wheel, KPC hit a sunny day for their welcome back to school annual barbeque. "We've made some good choices and it seems like every turn we take is along the right road, even the weather is what we asked for," commented Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) director Gary Turner. Five hundred some students, faculty and interested community members turned out for the annual back to school picnic last week where the schematic designs of the new Kenai River Campus Career & Technical Center and on campus student housing facility were displayed. "We plan to break ground on both projects next spring when we can work the ground with completion scheduled by August 2013," said Turner.
Both projects, $14.5 million for the Tech Center and $17.8 million for the student housing facility will be funded with monies from state general obligation bonds as unanimously approved by the legislature, signed by Governor Parnell, and supported by Alaskan voters with the passage of Prop B last November. "This is our tenth record breaking semester for enrollments; we'll be at over 3,000 students this semester. Over the last five years the number of students attending KPC has increased 60%, we're busting at the seams and these two new buildings will help but at the same time they will generate new enrollment as well. We are the fastest growing campus in the University of Alaska system and have just eclipsed Juneau for being third for total enrollment size with only Anchorage and Fairbanks having more students," said Turner.
According to Turner the project supports and enhances the UA mandate to its campuses to train Alaskans for Alaska jobs. The Career and Technical Center will provide for continued growth in KPC's high-demand workforce development programs in process technology, industrial process instrumentation, and computer electronics. The new state-of-the-art facility will allow KPC to meet its mission and provide a facility that has the flexibility to meet future training demands as technology continues to evolve.
Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Mike Chenault turned out with other state and local officials to join in the celebration and welcome back barbeque of free burgers, barbequed 4-H pork, live music and home made deserts compliments of the KPC Faculty. "I'm always interested in what Dr. Wartinbee cooks up in his biology lab, it's always delicious, and I never ask about the ingredients," commented an anonymous visitor. "The desserts, as always, flew off the table," added Turner, "Thanks to all for another wonderful Welcome Back BBQ. It takes a huge team effort to put on such an event and it was very evident that all those attending had a good time. We ordered much more food this year and a 260 lb hog that was delicious."