Residential Goal Drives ASU Building Boom

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 12:00 am  

• The $15 million Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences, among numerous other residential and sport-related projects.

Frey said increased enrollment and accompanied tuition dollars have fueled the school's residential projects. Academic buildings usually require a different source of revenue, however.

"If you look at the Reynolds Building, it was named after [the] Donald Reynolds [Foundation], who provided some external grant funding," Frey said. "The Delta Center for Economic Development was external grant funding."

Current Projects

ASU is still expanding, and the campus is abuzz with construction as several large projects inch their way to completion.

The largest ongoing project, a 120,625-SF, $32 million humanities building, has been on the drawing board since 2002. It’s currently a skeleton of girders in the center of campus, and when completed next summer it will be the school’s largest academic building. ASU didn’t have the funds to build it when the project was approved a decade ago, Handwork said. A $4 million state appropriation arrived hand-in-hand with the Great Recession, the latter delaying the project further.

“We got another appropriation last year from the Legislature,” Handwork said, noting that between that money and advocacy by alumnus Gov. Mike Beebe, the building’s steel envelope should reach completion at the end of 2012.

The building will feature classrooms, offices, two large auditoriums, computer labs and writing labs. The design of the building is intended to allow natural lighting into the classrooms, Handwork said. It’s being built by Tate General Contractors Inc. of Jonesboro.

A $17 million road through the center of campus, the federally funded Marion Berry Parkway, is also under way, with the first two phases complete. The third and final phase is in the works. Handwork said it will complete a road between ASU’s center campus and its west campus.

Two more housing projects are also currently under way. One will provide residences for sororities and is slated to be mostly complete by the end of the year.

“There are five houses,” Handwork said. “Each house has a little over 8,000 square feet and has 20 beds for students.”

The project cost $8 million and is being built by Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway.



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