Bunnell Building (UAF)

Charles Bunnell Building

Fairbanks Campus

Description: 1790 Tanana Loop

The Charles Bunnell Building was built in 1959 for $2.9 million as the central administrative building of the UA system. The four-story building housed classrooms, laboratories and the Druska Carr Schaible Auditorium. Located at the southwest perimeter of campus, it was just a few feet from the old Main Building, the university's first structure, which had to be demolished before the Bunnell Building could be insured.

Schaible Auditorium was originally planned as a fully equipped theater, but funding ran out before a stage could be built. A permanent blackboard was installed instead, forcing the Department of Theatre to construct a stage platform before every show with U-shaped sets to fit around the blackboard. Nevertheless, the Drama Workshop staged full productions in Schaible from 1961 until 1971, when they moved to the newly built theater in the Fine Arts Complex.

In 1998, the Bunnell Building was renovated, brought up to current codes and upgraded to improve educational program delivery. The biology laboratories were improved with new fume hoods, better plumbing, electrical outlets, lighting and casework. In addition, Schaible Auditorium was revamped with new desktop seats and new carpet. Its lecture center received a new sound system with cassette, video and compact disc players with a feedback eliminator. The computer center has projection capabilities with a wireless slide/video/projection control system.

Today the building houses the School of Management, Journalism Department, Department of Biology and Wildlife, offices of Space Planning and Management, Faculty Development, and Printing Services. A computer lab available to all students is on the third floor.

Sources

“The Cornerstone on College Hill” by Terrence Cole; “Farthest North College President,” by William Cashen; former UAF staff person Bill Jacobson; “Address of Governor William A. Egan, to be delivered at the dedication of the Bunnell Memorial Building, University of Alaska, 3:30 p.m., Sunday, May 22, 1960” and “Dedication of Bunnell Memorial Building, Speech of Ernest N. Patty, President, University of Alaska” both in U.A. Special Events 1915 (A12.D5), UAF Alaska and Polar Regions Archives; University Relations files; UAF Directory 2001-02


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