As overall headcount enrollment levels off for the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, the growth of its extension campus in Texarkana has prompted the announcement of a new professions studies building for the school.
As overall headcount enrollment levels off for the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, the growth of its extension campus in Texarkana has prompted the announcement of a new professions studies building for the school. UACCH Chancellor Chris Thomason said development planning for the 15,000-square foot structure has already been approved by the state and he expects construction work to begin by the first of 2014. “We are going to start strategically working on our programs that are involved in the Texarkana market,” Thomason told the UACCH Board of Visitors in its Sept. 6 session. “We believe this project will not only realize our needs by helping our future campus growth, but enhance our overall growth.” Thomason said the facility is expected to cost about $3.5 million. Funding for the building is expected to come from some $3.5 million in General Improvement Fund monies UACCH received in the 2013 session of the Arkansas General Assembly. Thomason thanked State Representative Brent Talley, D-McCaskill, State Senator Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, and State Senator Larry Teague, D-Nashville, for assisting UACCH in obtaining the funding. The announcement was part of a series of ongoing projects involving both campuses. Thomason said the campus expansion completed in May with the purchase of an option on an additional 13.5 acres of property will be used to site the new facility and to expand the parking capacity at the Texarkana campus. He said site work at the Texarkana campus has now opened its vista to Interstate 30 and has created a local buzz for the college. “I've gotten more calls about our Texarkana campus in the last few weeks,” Thomason quipped. Bobo and Bain Construction Co., of Hope, will do the parking expansion as soon as the site clearance is completed. Thomason said the parking project should take about three weeks to finish. He said construction work is nearing completion on the Hope campus on a new outdoor entertainment pavilion immediately behind Hempstead Hall. “This is one of those projects where our wonderful donors have helped,” Thomason said. He said the pavilion will include a concession center, bathrooms and other amenities to compliment the outdoor amphitheater at the rear of Hempstead Hall, and a dedication celebration is planned later this fall. Thomason also noted that the woodland walking trail extension on the UACCH campus is 90 percent complete, and that an extensive paving resurfacing project on the main campus will also begin this fall. He said roadway surfacing on the north side of the campus will be rehabilitated and parking between the administration building and the workforce center will be completely rebuilt.