875 Alumni Drive Bldg. 802
UAF photos by Sierra Coley
The Ben J. Atkinson Building includes a central heating and coal-fired power plant that supplied heat and electricity to the university starting in January 1964.
A new $245 million combined heat and power plant, located adjacent to and just east of the Atkinson Building, began supplying all the campus' heat and power in February 2020, after five years under construction.
The Atkinson's two coal boilers were decommissioned. The two boilers that can burn oil or natural gas continue to back up the new boilers.
The Atkinson Building also contained the university's water treatment plant, built in 1966. In 2016, UAF closed the treatment system and began receiving water from College Utilities.
Ben J. Atkinson graduated from the University of Alaska in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He was the first director of the university's Office of Physical Plant and Campus Planning and played a key role in planning new facilities during a period of rapid growth.