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Work to restart on Liberal Arts frame

Published: Monday, August 27, 2012

Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08

liberal arts update

Staci Vandagriff, Photo Editor

Recently Arkansas State University received funding to enter the new phase of work on the Liberal Arts building, which is currently in construction.

The new building is located between Wilson Hall and the College of Science and Mathematics. Construction began in 2008, but due to lack of funding, it has been stopped until recently.

“We got some more funding and we actually started resuming the construction on the structure and the concrete work in July this year,” said David Handwork, director of planning, design, and construction with Facilities Management.

According to Handwork, ASU got only $4 million in funding in 2007, but $10 million was added for funding in 2011.

“We’re going to get the closure done,” Handwork said.

He said, however, the $14 million funding in total that ASU has gotten up to now is still not enough to finish the building. ASU will need about $20 million in additional funding to finish the rest of the building, including the interior.

“We don’t know the answer of when it will be finished, because it all depends on when we get the remaining funding actually allocated to us,” Handwork said.

He said although there are different methods for funding an academic building, the funding is usually from the state legislature.

“ASU administration have and will explore all possibilities and options for securing the remaining funds for the project,” Handwork said. “We’re right now in the funding process, and we’re hopeful that it would be available sometime in the next two to five years.”

The Liberal Arts building will hold classes currently held in Wilson Hall, including English, history, political science, philosophy, and language courses. In addition to that, it will hold a portion of classes within the social work and criminology departments, including the international student center in the criminology department, Handwork said.

“We do need more space because the campus is growing. That’s probably one of the primary reasons (to construct the building),” he said.

The second reason is that Wilson Hall needs to be renovated because of its decrepitude.

“There’s no way to be renovated without moving everybody out,” Handwork said. While renovating Wilson Hall, the Liberal Arts building will accommodate all students who are supposed to take classes in Wilson Hall, he said.

“As we get funding, we’ll plan to renovate that building,” Handwork said.

“It is a bit of an eyesore on campus just sitting there unfinished,” said Amanda Layer, a senior communication disorders major of Rector. “I feel like it takes away from the overall campus appearance, because we have a very pretty campus in general.”

Layer also said many of the classrooms in the Wilson Hall are cramped and do not have up-to-date technology. “I hope the new building will solve those issues,” she said.

“I hope that ASU plans to start work on the building soon. There has been a long enough delay,” Rebecca Hutchison, a senior communication disorders major of Hornersville, Mo., said.

Hutchison also said she expected the Liberal Arts building to provide a more comfortable environment for its students.

Another student, Sarah Seibert, a sophomore Spanish and finance major of Cabot, added, “I expect the facilities inside to be very nice. As a liberal arts major, I also expect to spend a lot of time inside it, if they finish it soon.”

If students want to get more information about construction going on at ASU, they can visit http://facilities.astate.edu/Construction.html, which includes a capital construction report that provides information about future construction projects at ASU as well as current projects.

 

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