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What's New On Campus

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Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall at Arkansas Tech.

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

The university is in the midst of capital projects totaling more than $175 million, including both renovation and new construction. At the heart of these effects is the opening of the $36 million Humanities and Social Sciences building, opened last year. The 120,000-square-foot facility was funded in part by a $27.7 million bond issue.

That same bond issue helped fund a new 78,000-square-foot multipurpose facility for students, athletics and the community. The $11 million center and associated relocated soccer complex also opened in 2015.

Renovations of note include the re-opening of historic Wilson Hall. Opened in 1932 and having housed almost every aspect of what was then A & M College, the building is now home to the first college of osteopathic medicine in Arkansas. The New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was dedicated this summer following a $12.6 million renovation and modernization of the 86,000-square-foot building.

A-State is increasing its campus housing by another 500 residents in partnership with Zimmer and Associates of Wilmington, N.C. A 350-bed undergraduate facility on the east side of campus and a 165-bed complex primarily for graduate students on the west side of A-State grounds are set to begin construction at the conclusion of the spring semester with a completion date for the fall 2017 semester.

 

ARKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY

Arkansas Tech University dedicated its new $15.1 million academic facility, Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall, in April 2016. Named for the 11th president of Arkansas Tech and his wife, Brown Hall is a four-story, 66,900-square foot structure designed to serve academic, student support and administrative needs of the university.

The technologically-advanced facility includes classrooms and conference rooms on all four floors. There are also offices for operating areas such as admissions, registrar, student accounts, financial aid, veteran services, payroll, budget, human resources and the university’s federally-funded TRIO programs — Upward Bound and Student Support Services. 

Construction of Brown Hall began in spring 2014. Funding for the project was made possible through general improvement funds from the State of Arkansas, Arkansas Tech physical plant funds and the sale of revenue bonds.

 

HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY

Henderson State’s new residence hall and apartment complex are now open. University Place houses both freshmen and upperclassmen, accommodating 300 students in suite-style rooms with semi-private restrooms. Reddie Villa Apartments is a 240-bed on-campus complex designed for upperclassmen only. 

The Ken Duke Golf Center has been completed, as has installation of new turf on the baseball and softball fields. Other athletic facilities upgrades include an upgraded practice field and a new entrance to the football stadium.

 

JOHN BROWN UNIVERSITY

Over 75 percent of JBU’s main campus buildings have been renovated or newly built since 2000. This summer, JBU opened a five-mile mountain biking trail on campus that covers terrain with various elevations for various skill levels. The soft-surface trail runs along Sager Creek and opens into two different trail systems on the north and west sides of campus. JBU’s Health Education Building, a 20,000 square foot facility that opens this fall, will welcome JBU’s first class of nursing students. The completion of JBU’s Walton Lifetime Health Complex (WLHC)’s $5 million renovation in November will offer expanded fitness areas, a new community entrance, new locker rooms, expansion of the HVAC system, and new pool mechanical systems and decking. In spring 2017 JBU begins renovation of Mayfield Residence Hall, the university’s historic women’s dormitory.

 

LYON COLLEGE

Lyon College recently added two new residence halls to its campus, with the full renovation of older student housing currently ongoing. Each new residence can accommodate up to 100 students and features state-of-the-art living facilities, open space for student life needs and quiet spaces for studying. 

Major rehabilitation of Brown Chapel and Fine Arts Building is under way, with a handicapped-accessible bathroom now installed near the back of the stage and cramped rear-entrance offices replaced with two spacious offices and a green room. Next summer will see the chapel auditorium’s sound system, stage lighting, seating and flooring replaced and a video presentation system added. When completed, Brown Chapel will provide a first-class facility for musical performances.

The Lyon Education and Adventure Program (LEAP) introduced its new Highland Adventure Challenge Course this year, an outdoor program featuring high and low ropes elements. The program fosters shared learning, teamwork and personal development. LEAP’s hiking and biking trail, completed in 2010 and expanded in 2016, now also extends almost five miles along a wooded bluff at the edge of the campus.

 

OZARKA COLLEGE

BBA Solutions, the third-largest and fastest-growing college textbook company in the United States, is coming to Ozarka College. BBA Solutions, headquartered in Little Rock, currently serves 10 colleges and universities in Arkansas, six of which are community colleges. The company is upgrading the campus bookstore, resulting in new conveniences for students and faculty including a service that gathers books for students, ensuring they get the right materials for their classes. Additional retail and merchandising offerings are also anticipated with the opening of BBA Solutions at Ozarka College, including online purchasing options. The new company began serving Ozarka students this summer.

 

PULASKI TECHNICAL COLLEGE

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Pulaski Technical Colleges Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.

Pulaski Tech made two bold statements about the future of the campus with the completion of a pair of stunning, state-of-the-art buildings, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute and Center for Humanities and the Arts. 

The culinary center is a two-story, 60,000-square-foot facility. It features 11 gleaming kitchens, each designed for specific purposes including candies and chocolates, soups and stocks and smoking and curing meats. There’s also a wine classroom and a mixology lab, as well as multipurpose kitchens, classrooms, a hospitality suite, computer labs and a celebrity chef theater with stadium seating for 130 people. Completed in 2013, the institute is home to roughly 500 students enrolled in culinary and hospitality-related programs at the college.

The Center of Humanities and Arts, opened in February, is no less a showstopper. Home to the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the college’s largest academic division, the center boasts nearly 60,000 square feet and features the college’s  first 500-seat performing arts theatre, costume shop, a performance/dance studio, music rooms and a 1,250-square-foot art gallery.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation awarded the Pulaski Technical College Foundation a $1.5 million grant to furnish and equip the $30 million center and to establish an endowment for continued operations. The grant is the college’s largest private cash donation in the college’s history.

 

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY

SAU’s building and expansion docket has been crammed of late, headlined by Magnolia Hall and Columbia Hall, both due to be completed this October. The three-story residence halls will each house 132 students and are designed with double-occupancy rooms and common areas that include a kitchenette. Each floor has several single-occupancy bathrooms. All rooms will have fiber connectivity and the buildings are equipped with wireless capability.

The school renovated the National Guard Armory building as the new home for the Engineering Department. The $1.4 million project creates six labs and three large classrooms, remodeled bathrooms and overhauling of the motor pool area to convert it into a machine shop. 

Reynolds Center cafeteria is receiving a $2 million facelift and expansion, which will increase occupancy by 50 percent and include a new food service area. The project also installs an automatic conveyor system in the dish room, slated to be completed next year.

A new $1.2 million softball complex was finished last spring and $1.2 million in improvements to the track were completed over the summer. Other improvements either on the books or recently completed include improving the library, alumni welcome center, President’s residence, field house, student housing and other projects, total $3.6 million.

 

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-FAYETTEVILLE

Three major projects headline facilities improvements and additions on The Hill, including renovation of the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center, which offers performances primarily by the departments of music and theater. Opened in fall 2015, the center has offered more than 200 performances during its first year. The world-class facility seats 650 and was designed as an acoustically modern facility within the university’s historic Field House, which was dedicated in 1938 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The renovation cost more than $18 million, and Jim and Joyce Faulkner of Little Rock offered a $6 million lead gift to help the 39,400 square foot facility come to life. 

New projects include Champions Hall, which opened for fall classes in 2015. The four-story building provides new biological science laboratories, math classrooms, the Math Resource and Teaching Center and open study areas for students. The 62,000-square-foot building cost $26.5 million to build and equip, two-thirds of which was made possible by the University of Arkansas Athletics Department, which committed a portion of the university’s annual share of Southeastern Conference revenues to pay off $18 million in bonds issued to pay for construction.

The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center was dedicated in September 2015 by the U of A Athletic Department. The facility addresses the academic, nutritional, personal and professional development of more than 460 student-athletes and creates an integrated academic support program focused on the graduation of all student-athletes. The 55,000-square-foot building includes 30-plus tutor rooms, a 135-plus seat auditorium, a 90-plus seat multi-purpose room, a sports nutrition center and a wellness area for a sports psychologist and dieticians. A $10.65 million gift from the Jones family made the facility possible.

 

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-FORT SMITH 

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Students utilize the hand weight station during a strength training exercise at the UAFS Recreation and Wellness Center.

Students reporting for class this fall will enjoy a new student athletic center at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. The 47,000-square-foot Recreation and Wellness Center, which took more than a year and $11.5 million to complete, offers a rock climbing wall, two basketball courts, four volleyball courts and space for workout machines, weightlifting and multipurpose use. The center was made possible after the Student Government Organization led an effort to construct the new center by holding a vote for students to self-impose a student activity fee to fund the center, which passed. 

 

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

UAPB will break ground on a residential life complex this fall. The $11 million Delta Complex will take a year to build and will provide 144 rooms, a courtyard and university police substation.  

Campus amenities will get a boost with the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union, set to open with the 2016 Fall term. The facility received new paint, flooring and furniture and will include new Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks franchises. Another building project, Larrison Hall, will complete its first phase this fall, at an estimated cost of $650,000.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS

The university broke ground in April 2015 to begin construction of a 67,500-square-foot, four-story mixed-use building at the intersection of Bruce Street and Donaghey Avenue. The project, known as Donaghey Hall, will provide 165 beds for upperclassmen on the top three floors and will be ready for residential occupancy in August 2016. 

Filling the first floor commercial space will be Blue Sail Coffee, Mosaique Bistro and Grill, Marble Slab Creamery, Uncle T’s Deli Market, Textbook Brokers Bear Wear and a “makerspace,” a place designated for students to gather and share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network and connect with each other.

A scaled model of a new bear was unveiled during March 2016 that will be included in the design of the new Donaghey Hall. Introduced by sculptor and university professor, Bryan Massey, “Otis” will hang from the side of Donaghey Hall once the building is completed. Otis, 15 feet long, eight feet wide and weighing approximately 3,000 pounds, will be made of stainless steel.

In January 2017, the Conway Corporation Center for Sciences will open as the latest academic building for students to further their intellectual success. The project is an extension to the Lewis Science Center. The kickoff of this development began in May 2015 and was made possible in part by a Conway Corporation $3 million gift.

McCastlain Hall is a landmark on UCA’s campus and was newly renovated this year. Upgrades to the historic building include the ballroom, east dining room and fireplace room, along with new bathrooms and an elevator addition.

Thanks to a $5-million gift from the Nabholz Charitable Foundation, UCA will establish a simulation center in the Doyne Health Sciences Building. The UCA Board of Trustees approved the naming of the lab as the “Nahbolz Center for Healthcare Simulation.”

 

 
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