Update: State Transportation Department Gives $1M to UA Civil Engineering Center

(rendering by Treanor Architects)
(rendering by Treanor Architects)

The University of Arkansas has received a $1 million grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation to build a 37,400-SF Civil Engineering Research and Education Center.

The center is expected to cost about $10.3 million, and it will be located in the Engineering Research Center at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville. Leaders say it will be a "living laboratory" for civil engineering undergraduates at the university.

The planning process is substantially complete, according to Nick DeMoss, director of communications for the College of Engineering. UA has renderings, cost estimates and a site layout, he said.

The university expects to break ground on the center in 2019, and construction is expected to take up to 18 months, DeMoss told Arkansas Business.

"We have an outstanding faculty and student body ready to make great use of this facility, and we're proud the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center will be accessible for civil engineering research programs across the state," John English, dean of the College of Engineering, said in a news release. "This facility will touch the lives of thousands of students as they pursue solutions that save money, improve safety and create a better quality of life for us all."

Students will use the center's design and construction process to learn construction techniques and management; computer-aided design and drafting; plan development; construction materials; soil mechanics and foundation design; structural steel design; and reinforced concrete design.

"The center will be a one-of-a-kind facility in Arkansas and in our region, providing students and engineers from across Arkansas an opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research which will have impact at the local, state and national levels," Micah Hale, professor and head of the Department of Civil Engineering, said. "Our department has always had a special partnership with ArDOT, and with the Civil Engineering Research and Education Center we can continue this partnership to help address and solve the infrastructure needs of Arkansas, as well as addressing national-level needs, too."

The grant is being awarded as part of the ArDOT's Transportation Related Research Grant Program.

The contractor for the project is CDI, and the architect is Treanor Architects, with Tim Maddox from deMx Architecture in Fayetteville working as the local architect.