Homer Alaska - News

KBC breaks ground on new college addition



University of Alaska Anchorage, state and city officials participate in groundbreaking ceremonies on Friday for the new addition to the Kachemak Bay Campus at the main campus on Pioneer Avenue. From left to right are Carol Swartz, Kachemak Bay Campus director; Erica Marley, member, KBC Advisory Board; Homer Mayor James Hornaday; UAA Provost Michael Driscoll; Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer; and John Faunce, director, UAA Facilities Planning & Construction.

Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

With workers from Steiner North Star Construction taking a break for dirt work at noon Friday, officials, staff, faculty, students and friends of Kachemak Bay Campus held a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for a new addition at the east — and soon to be only — complex.

The $2.7 million project will add a second building and put in one place all the classrooms and offices of Homer's local branch of the Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. Currently, the college is spread out at two ends of Pioneer Avenue, with part of the campus on West Pioneer Avenue in the old Homer Intermediate School building and the rest at the main building on East Pioneer Avenue.

KBC director Carol Swartz said it's been a 13-year process to expand and consolidate the campus.

"I never thought I'd see this happen from office window, but this day has come," she said, pointing at construction equipment.

The new building is under construction in the back corner of the east campus parking lot.

"It's going to unite the campus," said Gary Turner, director of Kenai Peninsula College. "It's going to increase camaraderie and teamwork."

Student Karen Corbell, who grew up in Homer, praised the college's role in her intellectual and personal growth.

"I am an example of what this college can do," she said. "This place has made me who I am."

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