Chuck Hanley works Thursday afternoon on the new addition at Kenai Peninsula College.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Like a student handing in their final research paper, the ongoing building project at Kenai Peninsula College appears to be right on schedule, according to KPC Director Gary Turner.
“Everything is going really well,” Turner said in regard to the work being done to the Walter E. Ward Building (at the left end of campus, if facing the facility from the parking lot).
Three classrooms and two offices off the front of the building are being added. The addition will be tiered with each classroom sunk 18 inches lower than the one behind it.
The rooms will have movable walls that can be opened to create a tiered auditorium space with a capacity of 230 people. A portable stage will make the space the new home for KPC Showcase programs and other performances.
With furnishings, the expansion is expected to cost $1.5 million in all, paid for through general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2002. Blazy Construction of Soldotna got the $1.2 million bid to do the work.
“We’re right on track,” Turner said in regard to the project being completed by the scheduled finish date of Dec. 16.
The foundation for the addition has been poured and the walls have been built and raised. The interior of the walls are studded and await insulation, while the exterior walls are wrapped in Tyvek and have the top exterior panels already on.
“It’s starting to take shape. You can see it’s a building and how it’s going to look,” Turner said.
The only challenge the project faced so far was supply issues with some of the construction materials, steel in particular, since much of this metal has been diverted south to help with hurricane rebuilding efforts.
The steel showed up Thursday and will be used to complete the remaining infrastructure and the support structures for the roof of the building, Turner said.
“Hopefully, it won’t snow or rain too bad,” he said.
After construction is completed, Turner said the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the new addition will be held Jan. 5, which corresponds with the school’s open house event.
The new classrooms will be utilized during the spring semester and may be used for “anything from literature to process technology classes,” Turner said.
Future construction projects also are in the works, according to Turner.
“We’re in the process of selecting an architectural design firm to design our next building,” he said.
This new building will be the Mining and Petroleum Training Service Center of Excellence. Turner said he hopes ground will be broken for the project next summer.
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