UA passes $5 million capital budget; president calls amount "disappointment"

Published: Aug. 9, 2017 at 7:34 PM AKDT
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The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a $5 million capital budget for the coming fiscal year. It’s an amount the UA president described as a "disappointment."

UA officials originally requested $50 million to cover the growing costs of deferred maintenance across its campuses, but due to the state’s budget deficit, state legislators appropriated one-tenth of that amount in a special session just days before the beginning of the new fiscal year.

The $5 million budget will be shared between the universities in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau as well as a number of community campuses.

Here is how the majority of the money will be distributed:

UAA ($1.3 million): Roof repair, door, window and insulation replacements, failing piping and electrical systems fixes, outdated HVAC system replacement, repavement of uneven surfaces, addressing lack of adequate sidewalks.

UAF ($2.9 million): outdated HVAC system replacement, failing piping electrical system fixes, inefficient lighting replacement, electronic locks on interior classroom doors to comply with “emerging National Safety Standards,” server space relocation, uneven surface, sidewalk, road hazard fixes, head bolt car parking lot plug-in repairs, broken concrete replacement in walking area south of Rasmuson Library, regulatory compliance with American Disabilities Act, Title IX and accommodation for transgender students, staff and faculty.

UAS ($249,000): Auke Lake pedestrian guardrail replacement, Hendrickson building mansard replacement, Mourant building exterior window replacement.

The UA system will also be pulling $40.6 million additional dollars from its operating budget to help keep its aging buildings in working order.

According UA president Jim Johnsen, the state’s higher education system is currently running a "near billion dollar" backlog of deferred maintenance.