Fall Commencement remains unshaken

After two days of a closed campus, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, campus reopened and resumed classes. Ryan Buchholdt, interim director for UAA’s Environment Health & Safety and Risk Management Services, said all buildings on campus were operational with a few closures in buildings.

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Photo credit: Timothy Lee

The Alaska Airlines Center was damaged from the quake, leaving the gym floor flooded and the building with ceiling damage among other impairments. The flooding was from a “pretty hard leak” from the fire suppression center, according to Buchholdt. It’s not quite back to normal, but it’s getting there and it has been determined to still be the venue for Fall Commencement on Dec. 16.

The Chugiak-Eagle River campus is one part of UAA that is not operational; however, it is not owned by UAA. Students taking classes on that campus were either moved to the main Anchorage campus or to online-only classes for the remainder of the semester.

A few places in the UAA/APU Consortium Library are still closed off due to needing to restock and reorganize books. Other areas around campus are also roped off, but facility workers are continually working on fixing the issues.

“When you see facility staff working, please get out of their way; we want them to do their jobs as quickly as possible,” Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said in one of UAA’s social media updates regarding the recovery efforts. “It wouldn’t hurt to give them a little high-five or a ‘thank you’ because they have been working so, so hard for us.”

Buchholdt said all residential campus life is operational and doing well, and issues within Residential Life were fairly quick to fix. Security footage of the Student Union was released, showing ceiling tiles collapsing. As of Dec. 6, some tiles were still missing, but the more concerning damage was taken care of.

“Even though all the campus buildings are operating… we ask for people’s patience for things to be restored and to get campus back to where it was before 8:30 Friday morning,” Buchholdt said.

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Buchholdt also encouraged students to self-evaluate and make sure their own being is well. If students need aid, they can reach out to Student Health and Counseling Center at (907) 786-4040 or at [email protected]