Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

After spring break, staff, students settle into new building at KBC



Photo by Michael Armstrong

Math professor Sara Reinert settles into her new office in Bayside Hall at Kachemak Bay Campus on Monday morning.

With no ceremony but a lot of celebration, the Kachemak Bay Campus on Monday fulfilled a 13-year-old dream. Over spring break, professors and staff moved out of the west campus in the old Homer Intermediate School and into the Bayside Hall next to what's now called Pioneer Hall at Pioneer Avenue and Heath Street.

Monday morning staff settled in to new offices and classes started.

"The main ribbon cutting is the classes started at a quarter to nine," said campus director Carol Swartz.

Contractors still have a few items to finish on their punch list. Bare Tyvek weather barrier showed through on the exterior where siding still needs to go in. Visual barriers have to be installed around ducting and machinery on the roof. After break up, the college will put in grass, trees and flowers under its landscaping plan. Inside, though, all the offices and classrooms are open for business.

The new building includes

• Six classrooms, including a physical sciences classroom,

• Twelve faculty offices,

• The Learning Center, with tutoring offices, a testing center and a computer room.

Bayside Hall is a short walk across the parking lot from Pioneer Hall, the main part of the campus. That's the best part, Swartz said.

"Now there's one campus and two classroom facilities, like most universities," she said. "It's very exciting."

Steiner North Star Construction, the general contractor building Bayside Hall, still has some details to go, but work should be done soon. A lab classroom for the Certified Nursing Assistant program remains at the old west campus building. Classes will continue there through the end of the semester in May and equipment moved out after that.

Construction of the 7,000-square-foot, $2.5 million building started in June 2010. Rim Architects of Anchorage designed Bayside Hall. In 2007, the city of Homer proposed building a new town hall in the Town Center off Main Street, with KBC to take over and renovate the old city hall next to its main campus.

When voters turned down authorization of bonds for the new town hall, KBC went back to the Alaska Legislature to get the $2.5 million appropriation for purchase and remodel of the city hall reallocated for construction of a new building.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.