UA Regents make new Lena Point fisheries facility a priority

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- A new $18 million fisheries and ocean sciences building at Lena Point just north of here tops the list of new construction projects requested by the University of Alaska.

The 41,500 square-foot Lena Point facility was proposed by the UA Board of Regents in its meeting last week.

The facility would serve the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fisheries and Ocean Sciences department which has offices scattered among numerous buildings at the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

It is part of a $621 million capital projects budget that calls for spending $221 million in state general funds.

Regents placed $31.6 million in essential maintenance projects ahead of the new Juneau facility on a list of priorities. Those projects would require $27.6 million in state general funds support.

''The Lena Point facility is the number one priority in new construction,'' said UA spokesman Bob Miller.

The proposed building would provide space for 14 faculty members, research assistants and graduate students. It would be located next to a proposed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration science facility.

''It will give us adequate lab space ... and unite what is already a small faculty that has been fragmented,'' said UAF Professor Anthony Gharrett.

Other capital projects include a $12 million Bio Science building in Fairbanks and a request for $26 million to ease classroom crowding at campuses in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

This year the UA system received $29 million in capital projects funds and approval to seek $37 million from outside sources, Miller said. The UA board had requested $87 million in state spending on capital projects for this year, Miller said.

The UA Board of Regents also approved its 2002-2003 budget proposal, asking for nearly $17 million more in state spending. The $618 million operating budget includes $218 million in state general fund money and about $400.6 million from other sources.

The request is sent to Gov. Tony Knowles who will submit his budget proposal to the Legislature.

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