The University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Monday unveiled a new project management lab for construction management and civil engineering students on the third floor of its Engineering, Technology, and Applied Science Building.
The Clark Project Management lab will be used to teach estimating, construction scheduling, project administration and more, according to Hollis “Hank” Bray, chair of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering. The university said it will also feature technology currently used in the industry.
Clark Contractors oversaw the renovation of the space and donated $50,000 to support the project. Half of that money went toward the renovations, furnishings and equipment. The other half will be used over the next five years to maintain the lab’s equipment, software, furniture and supplies.
Renovations, which began in February and were completed this summer, included the removal of the lab space’s tiered seating, painting and the installation of a new ceiling, LED lights and low-profile power outlets. The lab was furnished with lightweight tables and chairs.
The lab also has a photo wall displaying examples of the building process and finished projects that officials say will inspire students.
Clark Contractors CEO William Clark said in a news release that the lab will better prepare and equip the next generation of professionals in his field.
“Almost 40% of our salaried employees are graduates from the University of Little Rock,” he added. “Being able to give back and help further establish the resources of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering is a dream come true for us.”
Taggart Architects planned and designed the project.
“The importance of this lab and our contribution to the design goes well beyond the physical environment,” said Brandon Ruhl, designer and project architect at Taggart. “Now, more than ever, it is extremely important to invest in the education and development of our future colleagues. Without talented and knowledgeable project managers, the demand for our services, cost for materials and labor, and inflation will continue to rise.
“It is our hope that our investment into the Clark PM Lab at UA Little Rock will contribute to a strengthened workforce in our architecture, engineering, and construction community across the state of Arkansas.”