FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Eight years after construction began, the University of Alaska Fairbanks' engineering building officially opened.
Friday, UA President Jim Johnsen and other university officials did the honors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $115 million building.
The building nearly doubles the space available for the campus's engineering students, who are part of one of the university's longest-running departments. About 1,000 students will use the building each year.
State budget issues halted construction for a year before Johnsen requested a bond package to finish the project.
Openness was a driving factor in the building's design.
"Most of the high bay facilities at other universities would be encased in concrete walls. Ours is encased in glass," said Douglas Goering, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. "So people can see what engineers do and experience and become engaged with what engineers do."
Channel 2's Blake Essig contributed to this report from Fairbanks.