Introduction to UAA Housing series: “Something Phenomenal”

What David Weaver won’t admit is the fact he has probably one of the most challenging jobs at the university. As the director of University Housing, Dining and Conference Services, Weaver’s job responsibilities vary from managing campus vending machines, to looking after 16 residential facilities, to managing his own staff team. However, Weaver is happy to admit something else: the love of his job. It is conveyed whenever the UAA alumnus begins talking about a future housing project, or how great of work his staff does.

“I love this university. I love the residential campus,” Weaver said.

In the two-plus years Weaver has served as director for UAA’s housing and dining operations, the 40-year-old has made it his creed to, “see the residential campus become something phenomenal.”

During the summer of 2014, a coworker of Weaver mentioned he had recently refinanced of his home (changing the terms of a loan). Later in the day, Weaver came across the amortization schedule for the $33 million loan the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation financed the university to build the residence halls in 1998. Before long, Weaver placed a call to AHFC Lending Officer Eric Havelock with the following inquiry: “We think we have around $17 million in equity — can we cash out some of that equity, ‘refinance our house’ so to speak, extend the length of the loan by a few years, and keep our payment the same?” Weaver recalls asking.
This would give UAA Housing the capital to make wide-scale improvements to the residential campus without raising student rates. After a series of meetings with senior university administrators, the Board of Regents, UAA Facilities Planning, students and others, the loan restructure was approved last May. Weaver explained to administrators the residential halls and apartments had fallen into a “deplorable state.” Eventually, last October, the Board of Regents approved a $7 million UAA Housing restructure.

Weaver, UAA faculty and students are beginning to see that money put into use. The Main Apartment Complexes were given a fresh coat of paint over the summer. Over half of the university apartments have newly replaced carpet and furniture, with MAC 2 and 3’s scheduled for next summer.

This article is the first in a four-part series titled “Something Phenomenal.” Each week will spotlight a different residential facility on-campus and talk about what actions are being taken to revitalize it. The title of the series comes from a quote made by David Weaver, the director of university housing: “I want to see the residential campus become something phenomenal.”

Below is the schedule for the rest of the series’ publication:

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Sept. 22 – Part II: Residential halls

Sept. 29 – Part III: The Main Apartment Complexes

Oct. 6 – Part IV: Grad-school apartments