Alaska voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition C to fund construction for schools statewide, and for Kenai Peninsula College that means planning and construction.
The Kachemak Bay Campus will receive $3 million to build a two-story 10,000-square-foot addition to the East Campus, allowing the campus to move out of the old Homer Elementary School. The Soldotna Campus will have $1.25 million to renovate the Ward building and expand classroom and office space.
The process to get these projects started has begun, and the UAA Facilities Planning and Construction (FP&C) Department soon will select an architectural firm to begin concept designs. Selected members of both campuses will work with the architects to determine design and space utilization.
The timeline for both projects is the same. Design meetings with campus representatives will occur between December and February. Designs will be reviewed by FP&C in March, and award of the construction contract is expected in May 2003.
Actual construction at both campuses should start in mid-May 2003 with completion expected by summer 2004.
New faces at Learning Center
The Learning Center announces that three new AmeriCorps volunteers have joined its team and a fourth has renewed for a second year. AmeriCorps, a federally funded national volunteer program, places volunteers in nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. Volunteers are given a modest stipend and an education award to be used to pay for schooling or to repay student loans. The Learning Center has been part of the AmeriCorps program for eight years now.
Rebecca Jorgenson, one of the new volunteers, hails from Eugene, Ore., but has called the Kenai Peninsula home for 26 years. She will work with Job Service in Kenai on GED, English-as-a-second-language and adult basic education programs. She also will tutor here on campus and work on toddler story time at the Kenai Community Library.
"I joined AmeriCorps because I enjoy assisting others with their learning process," Jorgenson said.
Frank Adams will join Jorgenson on the Adult Education and GED program. Adams, originally from suburban Philadelphia, joined AmeriCorps after 36 years in the world of education because he found that being retired for the past 10 years was "boring," and he wanted to "rejoin the academic community." In addition to ABE duties at KPC, Adams will travel to Tyonek and Ninilchik to tutor and will collaborate with The Salvation Army on holiday volunteer programs.
Chandra Hawkins, the third new AmeriCorps, will focus mainly on ESL duties. Hawkins, a lifelong peninsula resident, joined AmeriCorps because, as a language major at KPC who hopes one day to teach ESL as a career, she believes AmeriCorps can give her valuable hands-on experience in that field.
The Learning Center also welcomes back Jeannie Pate for another term as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Pate has worked in the Learning Center for the past year and is looking forward to continuing working on adult education.
Sadly, the Learning Center is saying goodbye to Monti Hightower who has just completed her term with AmeriCorps and is moving on to new and exciting things. She will be missed, and everyone hopes she stops by to visit every chance she has.
Supporting for nurse education
A nursing education fund-raiser, sponsored by area health care and education organizations, will be Friday at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center.
The 6:30 to 10 p.m. event will raise money for scholarships to be given to area students pursuing nursing degrees. The evening's festivities will include hors d'oeuvres, wine, entertainment, auctions and prize giveaways. The door prize is two round-trip tickets to Hawaii.
Tickets cost $35 and are available in the director's office. Individuals or businesses wanting to donate auction items can call 262-0315 to contribute.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College. Bob Scott contributed to this column.
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