UPDATED: Clinton Speaks at Heifer HQ Dedication Ceremony

Former President Bill Clinton, Gov. Huckabee and Mayor Jim Dailey welcomed Heifer International to its new home in the state-of-the-art $17.5 million Heifer International headquarters in Little Rock on Thursday.

In Clinton's "Hope for One World" speech, he stressed the urgency for people to get involved with organizations such as Heifer.

"Today half the people in the world live on less than $1 a day. One billion people will never have access to clean water. One in four people who die will die from AIDS, TB or infections associated with contaminated water," Clinton said

"The need is great, but the power to meet the need is equally great," he said.

The 94,000-SF facility at 1 World Ave. adjacent to Clinton's library accomplishes the first phase of a three-phase development project on the 33-acre Heifer International campus, which will eventually include an educational facility - the Polly Murphy and Christoph Keller Jr. Educational Center - and a global village to educate the public about solutions to ending hunger and poverty.

Clinton recognized Heifer for its commitment to empowering people with educational tools to use in their communities.

"It's better to teach someone how to fish than to give them a fish," he said.

Architect Reese Rowland of Polk Stanley Yeary Ltd. designed the "green" facility with Heifer's mission in mind.

The four-story office building features many of its conservational elements, including: recycled and recyclable materials; soybean and cotton insulation; bamboo flooring; solar lighting and heating for energy efficiency; a parking lot that allows water to be collected in the wetlands surrounding the building; and a 25,000-gallon municipal water tower that collects water from the roof and accounts for flushing toilets and heating the building. With these innovations, Heifer expects a 40 percent reduction in energy use and cost compared to conventional construction methods.

Ring of Influence

The building's sleek curvature represents expanding an ever-widening circle of hope by passing on gifts of animals' offspring. Every gift creates "concentric rings of influence" in a community, much like a droplet falling into a pool of water. The large water tower, visible while passing over the I-30 river bridge, serves as a symbol of sustainability as every inch of water is collected from the site and reused.

The building's interior maintains a structural look with pipes exposed to serve as an education tool for how the facility functions to collect water and maintain itself. The facility is a narrow 62 feet wide allowing for an abundance of soft natural light in working areas such as employees' modest cubicles and group conference rooms. Heifer's 250 employees, who were previously working in various buildings in downtown Little Rock, are now working under one roof to accomplish Heifer's goals.

At he dedication ceremony, Dailey commended the organization for its decision to build its new headquarters in Little Rock, saying it confirmed that the city is "building more than bridges and buildings. We're building our place in the world's future. Heifer is making Little Rock a significant place in the world."

Huckabee declared this week "Heifer International Week."