UAF’s Wickersham Hall completes renovation
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After 9 months of work, the Wickersham Hall Dormitory is reopening for the summer term at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Troth Yeddha campus.
Teddy Walker, Director of Residence Life at UAF, said, “It’s such a key part of the student experience, is to feel comfortable where you’re living so that you can focus on being a student.”
A project that started in August 2022, contractors have spent the last academic year making improvements to the 97-bed facility, at a cost of $4 million.
An audit of facilities across campus in 2020 showed that maintenance was needed at the building. Then, according to Cameron Wohlford, Director of UAF’s Division of Design and Construction, “It was an unfortunate sprinkler line break in Wickersham Hall that flooded the east side of the building, so that kind of came to the push to say, ‘Okay, now’s the time to do the renovation.’”
The work included new flooring and paint, and windows that trap in heat better. “There’s less cold infiltrating into the building, less heat leaving the building, so a more comfortable space for the students,” explained Wohlford.
Finally, the bathrooms were remodeled. “The sinks are new with vanities, also all new furnishings, remodeled the kitchens as well,” said Walker.
Students have already begun moving in for the summer, some from other dormitories, according to Walker. “We’re closing two of our largest residence halls beginning the end of the spring semester, so we’re giving them some extra time to get moved over so we can close those halls on time.”
The two residence halls, Moore and Bartlett, will undergo renovations of their own over the next year and a half, including their flooring, paint and furnishings. “They’re getting plumbing redone to upgrade the plumbing system so they work better, and we’re also redoing the bathrooms, fully renovating those so that they, every stall is private,” said Walker.
Those buildings are expected to reopen in the fall of 2024. The two upcoming renovations are expected to cost $27.5 million.
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