Change is Afoot at the Bill Ray Center
by Colby Shibler, Training Coordinator, Career Education
If you haven’t been to the Bill Ray Center (BRC) lately, there’s been a lot going on and some significant changes have been made in the building and programs. The changes at UAS’ “downtown hub” are in support of UAS’ mission to promote student achievements and faculty scholarship, lifelong learning opportunities, and quality academic programs.
After both the Administrative Services and the Professional Education Center relocated from BRC to the Auke Lake Campus last year, a significant amount of BRC space was opened up for the expansion of Career Education’s Health Sciences and Marine Transportation instructional programs and the relocation of UAF’s Cooperative Extension Service.
Cooperative Extension moved in to the 2nd floor of BRC in Spring 2008. In September 2008, Career Education worked with Facilities Services to remodel the vacated administrative spaces in the building into large classrooms to support increased instructional activities downtown. With that goal in mind, Career Education staff cleaned out piles and piles of old furniture, outdated electronics and obsolete teaching materials. Everything that could be was recycled or sent to state surplus rather than just tossed in an effort to make the cleanup as environmentally friendly as possible. After much effort several spaces were transformed from vacant offices into well-appointed classrooms.
Space that formerly housed the UAS Personnel Services staff on the 2nd floor was remodeled into a new 30+ seat, 1120 square foot, general assignment classroom in Room 208. In Room 110 several temporary office walls were removed and new windows installed, revealing a large, 925 square foot classroom with great views. A storage and copier space in Room 150 is now a Certified Nurse Aide training lab. IT Services has been busy setting up “Smartcarts” and hooking up phone and data services all around the building, while white boards and projector screens were hung by Facilities Services staff. The Dean’s office of the School of Career Education has also been relocated to the BRC.