UAA officials are optimistic that when voters go to the polls November 5th they will be supporting Prop C, a proposition for the issuance of $236.8 million dollars in bonds for the purpose of improving, constructing, and major maintenance of educational and museum facilities. "It's primarily a vote to take care of the future," said UAA Provost Jim Chapman, visiting the KPC campus last week. The money would be used for the benefit of education throughout the state of Alaska in grades K-16, and not solely for the University system says Chapman, "About 170 million would go to K-12 system, 60 to the University, and the remainder to the museums."
Additionally, according to Wendy Redman, Vice President of University Relations, if the bond passes it will implement companion legislation that was passed last session which will put into effect a new debt reimbursement program for the larger school districts including the Kenai Peninsula School District that will provide up to 70% payback for school construction that is done from now until January 1st, 2005. That would include the Seward school approved by local voters in the October election.
KPC Director Gary Turner has been speaking locally to Chamber's of Commerce and Rotary Clubs from Homer to Soldotna to let voters know that $3.8 million dollars is ear marked for much needed renovations and expansions for KPC. "The greenhouse hallway, the one that's hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and leaks in rain will be removed and classrooms expanded. There will be a 13,000 square feet expansion to the Ward building, the student commons area will grow and an attractive new entrance will be built," says Turner. Additionally, the money will put the Kachemak Bay Campus under one roof. Turner likes to quote UAA regent Mike Burns when talking about Prop C, "Mike says, the engine that's going to change the economy and the success of the economy is the University. It's how it has happened in every other state, and it's how it will happen here in Alaska."
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