Trustees approve University of Arkansas path plans at Little Rock Plaza


LITTLE ROCK — A science building at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock will be demolished and a new plaza and walkway will be built on campus after trustees approved the projects Thursday.

The campus expansion includes the reconstruction of a central plaza and the creation of a north-south “boardwalk,” UALR Chancellor Christina Drale told the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

A grant from the George W. Donaghey Foundation will fund the $5.5 million project, which spans 2,500 linear feet covering 105,000 square feet, UALR spokeswoman Angie Faller said in an email.

The new square will be outside the Ottenheim library and, according to board documents, will serve as a meeting place for students. The new path will be known as the “Trojan Way” and will run from 28th Street to University Drive.

The Board approved the UALR selection of WER Architects/Planners for design work. The company has offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville. The trustees also approved Nabholz of Conway as the general contractor for the project.

Faller said in an email that construction is expected to begin this fall.

The Earth Science Building, constructed in 1958 and located on the west side of the UALR campus, will be demolished at an estimated cost of $235,871, according to board documents.

“After demolition, the building’s floor plan will be part of a redesigned entrance on the west side of campus that will include unique landscaping features and ample green space,” said a letter from UA System President Donald Bobbitt, who granted approval for the demolition recommended.

The one-story building is not in use, and Faller said in an email that demolition is expected to begin in April. The demolition will take about 45 days and will be done “by mechanical means,” said Faller.

Bobbitt’s letter to the trustees states that a 2018 report found that the cost of “critical maintenance and general maintenance needs” for the building exceeded $3.35 million.


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