Extensive renovations to the Randal Tyson Track Center have come to an end as other on-campus projects are nearing completion or entering the early stages of construction.
The $5 million renovations to the 21-year-old track center began in April 2020 and include the replacement of the track's surface and installation of a new video board, said Kevin Trainor, UA senior associate athletic director, in an email.
Two other major athletics construction products are also projected to wrap up this semester, Trainor said. The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Baseball Development Center and the Frank O’Mara Track High Performance Center are on track to be completed in late spring.
The new Baseball Development Center will serve as a central location for baseball players, according to Razorback Athletics officials. All of their training and recovery will be held in the new complex next to the baseball field starting the summer of 2021.
The Track High Performance Center will allow the men's and women's track teams to train in the same area.
“The new and renovated facilities are important steps that will further enhance the support for our student-athletes as they compete for SEC and NCAA championships,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said in a video posted to the Razorback Athletics website.
Challenges to completing some of this year's campus construction projects arose due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trainor said.
Workers faced some shipping delays related to the pandemic, Trainor said. Despite the late arrival of the new track surface, the RTTC is finished prior to the start of the 2021 indoor track season.
Quinn Owen, a junior track and field athlete at the UofA, said she is a big fan of the newly improved Randal Tyson Track Center.
“It’s really nice,” Owen said. “It’s not as bouncy as it used to be, it’s really smooth. The excitement has built up on a fresh new track.”
With the renovations done in time, the team is able to practice in the facility where their home meets are held.
“We are on the track every single day,” Owen said. “We are pretty much hosting every meet, we are not traveling this indoor season. We also have a lot of fast people on our team so every time we go out to race we can treat it like a practice and be there for each other.”
Across campus, the construction of the new Student Success Center and renovations to the library are in full swing.
The $45 million Student Success Center and the $25 million renovations to the David W. Mullins Library are expected to be completed by 2022, said Breanna Lacy, communications coordinator for Facilities Management.
“There were delays in receiving material,” Lacy said. “However, the fact that there weren’t any people on campus helped us make up for lost time just because we didn’t have to worry about scheduling for exams. We pretty much had free reign of campus.”
The Student Success Center is meant to serve as a “one stop shop in the heart of campus," according to the Student Success Center website. Students will be able to receive help with all aspects of their academic career and will have the opportunity to meet with mentors, receive financial advice and social help. Levels three and four are the floors being renovated while floors one and two are available for students to use.
Lacy thinks improved spaces will make for better learning, she said.
Several other new additions to the UA campus are also on the horizon, but further away, Lacy said.
Workers have broken ground on the School of Art's Windgate Studio and Design Center at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Hill Avenue, and the new Civil Engineering Research Center at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park.
Officials are also awaiting final approval to begin the design work for renovations to Brough Commons, construction of the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Material Innovation, renovations to the Fine Arts Building and construction of the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research