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Arkansas State Board of Trustees Approves Bond Issue for Completion of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Construction


JONESBORO, Ark. — A $27.7 million bond issue approved today by the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees will finance completion of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building and construction of a multipurpose student activities center on the Jonesboro campus.

“Completing the liberal arts building was the top priority for capital projects this year, so we’re delighted the board has agreed to approve this financing,” Arkansas State Chancellor Tim Hudson said. “The student activities center will complement what we’ve already done with the Red Wolf Center and the Reng Student Union to give our students high-quality campus life experiences.”

The 120,000-square-foot Humanities and Social Sciences Building is a $36 million project expected to be completed by fall 2015. It will become the new home of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and other academic programs.

More than $17 million in General Improvement Funds from the state has been received over time for the project, said Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the ASU System. Gov. Mike Beebe and various area legislators through the years have been very supportive of the building, he added.

“This project was identified in the late ‘90s as very important to the needs of the university, and it’s time to complete it,” Welch said. “Every student who attends A-State will attend classes in this building. It’s a modern, safe facility to replace Wilson Hall, and it will become a campus icon for academic excellence.”

The student activities center, which was endorsed by the Arkansas State Student Government Association, will be a 78,000-square-foot multipurpose facility for students, athletics, and the community. Estimated cost of the center and the relocation of the soccer complex is $11 million, and construction work is expected to begin during the first half of 2014.

“This center will enhance recreational opportunities for all A-State students,” Hudson said. “It’s a collaborative project that will generate a close connection between all students and the Athletics Department. Campus intramurals, the band, club sports, fitness programs, and community activities will share the facility with our intercollegiate athletics programs.”

The board also approved a resolution to restructure and rename Arkansas State’s College of Education. It will now be the College of Education and Behavioral Science to better meet the needs of students, curriculum, and faculty and to be more representative of the mission of each department, Hudson said. A new School of Teacher Education and Leadership will combine the current Departments of Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Special Education, and Teacher Education.

In other business, the board:

• Approved new minors in the College of Media and Communication for creative media productions, multimedia journalism, and strategic communications.

• Voted to assess a malpractice insurance fee for the funeral science program at ASU-Mountain Home.

• Approved a resolution to rename the academic vice chancellor suite at ASU-Mountain Home in honor of Dr. Patricia Bailey, who retired recently after serving as provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for 18 years.

• Approved academic and staff appointments.

The ASU System is based in Little Rock and serves more than 22,000 students throughout Arkansas and includes Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro; ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy; ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Marked Tree and Jonesboro; ASU-Mountain Home; and instructional sites in Paragould and at the Little Rock Air Force Base.