The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees on Thursday (August 18) approved the design, funding, and other steps needed to move forward with construction of a 49-storey student union and recreation center, $3 million on the Russellville campus.
Construction on the 94,802 square foot facility is scheduled to begin in August 2023 with a grand opening scheduled between June and August 2025.
“Arkansas Tech University boldly envisioned a new recreation center and building for the student union and a unifying plaza at the hub of campus,” said Laury Fiorello, ATU Vice President for Administration and Finance. , in a press release. “This site is a central location intended to be a hub of student life and a flagship building for the university. Here lies the opportunity to create a memorable place on campus for student well-being, belonging, collaboration, gathering, and the outdoors. »
The new facility will be built on the parcel of land currently occupied by the WO Young Building, which will be demolished beginning in September. The new center will include space for a campus lounge/lounge, individual and group fitness activities, two basketball courts, outdoor recreation, a cafe, multi-scale events, student organizations, food service, a convenience store/liquor store, a multi-purpose activity ground and multi-purpose meeting rooms.
Miller Boskus Lack of Fayetteville was selected as the lead architectural firm and SmithGroup helped plan the installation.
ATU trustees voted to transfer $15.6 million in unlimited reserves to support the project. The balance of the cost is expected to be accounted for through the sale of tax bonds, which will be submitted to the ATU Board for consideration in October.
Fiorello wrote in a memo to administrators that “a safe and accessible walking experience for students from all directions around and through the site, a positive first impression of campus from the east gate between Brown Hall and Rothwell Hall and a iconic venue that hosts a variety of student life events.