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New building to offer better education to UAA students

By Shannon Ballard 9:08 PM December 6, 2013

Two brand new facilities take shape

ANCHORAGE – You might call Andrea Hulman a rebel.

Although her friends advised her to go out of state to get a engineering degree, she refused because she loves Alaska.

So on Friday, this junior at the University of Alaska Anchorage put her name on something that really matters to her — the new engineering and industry building. It’s a place to someday go to graduate school.

“This building gives us a lot of promise for the future of our degrees,” Hulman said. “With the construction of this building, the university will be able to offer graduate level degrees.”

The current facility doesn’t match up to other schools in the Lower 48.

“We don’t have the labs that they need to really do their engineering education as best they can,” said Chris Turletes, associate vice chancellor of facilities and campus services.

That will soon change.

To Hulman, the last piece of steel hoisted into place symbolizes a step toward her goal to study and work in Alaska. In the past ten years, UAA has constructed five new facilities, each of them adding to quality of education.

On the other side of campus, the enormous new sports complex is nearly 70 percent complete.

“It will be a venue both for our athletes and for recreation and events,” Turletes said. “We are looking forward to music concerts. Graduation will be held on campus for the first time.”

At least a half dozen construction projects are on the horizon.

“After engineering and its other pieces — the parking garage and the renewal of the existing building — it’s probably health science’s phase two,” Turletes said.

UAA is growing and so is Andrea Hulman’s desire to further her education in her home state.

The new engineering and industry building will open in fall of 2015. Construction on the Alaskan Airlines Center will be complete this next August.

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