Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden has been awarded a $996,275 grant to restore one set of the 500-man barracks it owns, a project that aims to address a lack of adequate housing options for students.
The grant comes from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, which distributed $29.9 million to 17 projects that aim to restore and protect state-owned lands and property.
"The students SAU Tech serves many times have no options for housing outside of campus housing. Our population is composed of low-income and first-generation students who need the security that campus housing can provide,” Chancellor Jason Morrison said in a news release. “This project addresses the exterior of the building and will repair windows, the roof, and drainage systems. We plan to go back before the council for Phase II, to renovate the interior and replace the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems.”
The building, called the C & D Dorms, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the original buildings on the campus of the ammunition manufacturing facility, Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot buildings, which closed in 1957. The building was used to house personnel and civilians who worked on the base.
"The ANCRC Trust Fund has funded over $425 million in projects since its first grants were made in 1989. Many important buildings and properties across Arkansas have been saved for future generations by the fund, and we are a better state for it," Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, said in the release. She also serves as secretary of the ANCRC.