Athletics to Fund Academics
The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees’ committee on buildings and grounds recommended the approval of plans for a new classroom and laboratory building Thursday and the plans were approved Friday by the full board.
The building will be primarily funded by revenues generated through the university’s membership in the Southeastern Conference, UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart said.
Enrollment at the UA has increased by over 6,000 students in four years and enrollment is expected to increase to 28,000 in the near future. The building will help to reduce crowding in classrooms and is expected to be completed in 2015.
“This building is our most urgent need on campus,” Gearhart said. “Its construction will serve thousands of U of A students in the immediate future and for decades to come.”
The building is expected to cost between $18 million and $25 million. Up to $18 million of the cost will be paid by SEC revenues. Any additional cost will come from reserve funds and from refinancing existing bonds, Gearhart said.
“We belong to the strongest and most financially viable athletic conference in the nation,” said Jeff Long, vice chancellor of intercollegiate athletics. “The continued success of the SEC both athletically and financially will provide us a means of relieving our students and their families from the burden of paying for this new building.”