New Building, Classrooms in Planning Stage
UA officials are planning to build a general classroom building to help manage the expected increase in enrollment, officials said.
The number of classrooms and their capacities depends on enrollment, said Mike Johnson, vice chancellor for Facilities. Once this information is gathered, floor size and number of floors can be determined.
The UA has not yet attained funding for the project, said Don Pederson, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration.
“We are trying to look at the next three to five years,” Johnson said.
The increase in students has brought on the need for more space. The completion of the new classroom building and the auditoriums will prevent students from having to take classes in the Arkansas Union.
The project is still in the planning phase. The UA has yet to hire an architect, but has the option do so at the Feb. 2 Board of Trustees meeting, Johnson said.
Locations for the building have already been discussed. Potential sites include the parking lot north of Hotz Hall and Evergreen Hill across from the Engineering Hall, he said.
Ideally, the building will be within the 10-minute walking radius of the core campus, Johnson said.
The new building’s aesthetic, which could be pre-fabricated, prevents it from being built in the historic district of campus, Johnson said.
UA officials are building more classrooms instead of housing because they feel that the freshmen class can be managed, officials said.
The freshmen class is estimated to remain between 4,200 and 4,500 in coming years, said Suzanne McCray, vice provost of enrollment.
Enrollment is expected to hit 24,000 next year and 25,000 by 2013. UA officials are evaluating housing very closely, McCray said.
“Lots of things are under discussion,” she said.
“Finding room for the increasing freshmen classes is the UA’s most important task,” Johnson said.
“If we can adequately house the freshmen, then our number one priority is accommodated,” Johnson said.
The goal is to make sure that the enrollment growth is sustainable, McCray said.
The historic district of the campus spans from Arkansas Avenue to Garland Avenue and from Dickson Street to Maple Street, Johnson said.