Pub making slow progress

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Carl Sampson / Polar Star

The Wood Center Pub is the source of both some god and bad news for UA students.

First the good news-the Pub is well into the planning stage and all road blocks preventing its completion have been circumvented.

Now the bad news-the Pub will not be in full operation until the beginning of fall semester.

According to Ron Keyes, head of Wood Center, the bids for major equipment, the new ceiling, the flooring and the air handling system have been let. Once these bids are opened, the budget can be made to include these amounts. Operating funds for the Pub will come from the revenue operations of Wood Center.

The major stumbling block to the installation of a pub on the Fairbanks campus was the lack of a license to dispense beer and wine without having to serve meals at the same time. This problem was solved when Sen. Terry Miller and Rep. Mike Bradner helped sponsor in the state legislature an amendment to the existing state liquor law creating a pub license for college and university campuses exclusively. Once the amendment was in effect, a letter of intent to issue a pub license to Wood Center was sent to Keyes. This letter said the state liquor board will issue a license once the facilities are made adequate to serve the number of people using it.

As it stands now, the Pub will be in the large concrete multi-purpose room next to what is now called the pub. Plans call for a stage, dance floor, service bar, carpeting and an acoustic ceiling to be installed before the license is issued. “Essentially, we were starting out with a bare room.” Said Keyes. “The original pub was too small. It will now be used for overflow seating, smaller parties, club meetings and such.”

He also said this situation allowed for more freedom in planning the Pub which will be much more than a place to go to get some beer. The atmosphere will not only attract the drinkers but the non-drinkers on campus. The state will allow mini-theater productions, movies, and small concerts to be presented.

The facility will accommodate some 150 to 170 people, depending upon the type of activity going on at the time. The smaller room will be used for overflow and can handle some 50 more people.

“The campus fire chief is currently looking at our plans and will give us a definite occupancy specification in the near future.” Keyes said.

“The plans for the Pub have really started to come together in the last month,” said Keyes. “Unfortunately, it’s taken longer than any of us had anticipated.”

In order to get input on the pub before final plans are drawn up, Keyes is sponsoring a meeting in the multi-purpose room at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the Pub and the tentative drawings he has.

Of interest to the drinkers on campus is the 24-case cooler and the four-keg tapper to be installed behind the bar.

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