Discussing new business models for child care facility

October 20, 2020

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

In July of this year, UAF suspended operation of the Bunnell House due to the pandemic and increased COVID-19 cases. The delay resulted in a restart of discussions on possible new business models that could offer more capacity for UAF’s faculty, staff and students in need of child care services in Fairbanks.

COVID-19 has caused many child care facilities in the community to close or suspend operations (including Bunnell House), putting additional pressure on our faculty and staff. This is an important time to act for the future of UAF and be consistent with our strategic goal of respect, diversity, inclusion and caring. It is also critical to UAF’s business model going forward. We need and want everyone to have equal opportunity to participate in the advancement of their career or education at UAF.

One current limitation to the expansion of child care on campus is that Bunnell House has limited ability to expand in its current facility. Furthermore, the facility is aging and in need of deferred maintenance. In the coming months we will begin exploring a public private partnership (P3) to expand the child care program under a different business model and in a larger location. One possible location being considered is space within the old UPark school building on University Avenue and adjoining the Troth Yeddha’ campus.

We will develop an RFP for private organizations to consider. However, in order to review proposals we will want in internal committee of interested stakeholders. If you have nominations (including self-nominations) of individuals interested in participating in a small review committee please contact Nickole Conley, UAF executive officer, at nlconley@alaska.edu by Nov. 1, 2020.

Thank you.