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a strong floor

Contractors place almost 400 yards of cement in the floor of the high bay of UAF’s new engineering building on Aug. 28. The 4–foot–thick “strong floor” is the only one of its kind in the state. The floor has embedded anchors every 4 feet on center. The anchors will allow engineers to push or pull on large beams or bridge girders and to simulate lateral loads such as those experienced in an earthquake. The diamond–shaped modules house sensors that will measure the strength of materials subjected to forces.

The engineering building is estimated to cost $111.6 million. The Alaska Legislature provided a majority of the money, but, as of this publication’s deadline, $31.3 million remains unfunded and a completion date is uncertain.

The university expects to raise another $6.5 million in private donations to complete the fourth floor for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power. The center analyzes and develops innovative, practical energy sources for Alaska and beyond. (See related story.) Usibelli Coal Mine has committed $500,000 to the fundraising effort.