RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (January 10, 2013)--Members of the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees received a proposal from Tech administrators on Thursday that could lead to four capital projects that would yield a $32.3 million upgrade for facilities on the Russellville campus.
Trustees will review the proposal over the next month and consider a full recommendation concerning the projects from university administrators during the February meeting of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees.
If approved, the capital projects plan would lead to the construction of a $14.5 million classroom building, a $14 million student support facility, a $2.5 million renovation at the Hull Physical Education Building and approximately $1.3 million in renovations at the Doc Bryan Student Services Building.
The capital projects plan was an outgrowth of research conducted by the university in 2012 regarding the feasibility of a large-scale expansion of the Doc Bryan Student Services Building.
"It is apparent from our planning meetings that Doc Bryan (Student Services Building) will be very difficult to expand and still not adequately satisfy all of our operating requirements," wrote David Moseley, senior vice president for administration and finance, in a document outlining the proposed projects. "We believe that constructing a new four-story facility at the present Bryan Hall location and doing some renovation to the Doc Bryan Building provides a better solution for academic affairs, administration and finance and student services."
The new four-story student support facility would be home to such operations as admissions, budget, financial aid, human resources, internal audit and administrative services, payroll, the registrar's office and student accounts.
In addition, Army ROTC students and instructors as well as students and staff involved in the federally-funded TRIO programs at Arkansas Tech --- Student Support Services and Upward Bound --- would utilize the proposed new facility.
The space created on the first floor of the Doc Bryan Student Services Building by some of the moves listed above would allow the Health and Wellness Center (currently located in Dean Hall), the Disability Services and Testing Center (currently located in Bryan Hall) and the Office of Public Safety (currently located in a structure adjacent to Bryan Hall) to move to the Doc Bryan Student Services Building, which opened in 1998.
In order to make room for the new student support facility, Bryan Hall would be demolished under the proposed capital projects plan.
Bryan Hall was constructed in 1955. Originally a residence hall, the facility has provided administrative space for the university in recent years.
In preparation for the proposed demolition of Bryan Hall, trustees approved a transfer of $508,237 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to support projects that would allow personnel to vacate Bryan Hall and relocate to other space on campus during the construction of the proposed new facility.
The proposed new classroom building would be constructed just south of Witherspoon Hall.
In other business on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees approved:
- the financial report for the university for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, which showed an increase of 10.6 percent in net assets as compared to June 30, 2011;
- the financial audit report for the university for the period ending June 30, 2012, as well as an update on the measures being taken by Arkansas Tech to create a backup data off-site storage facility, the full implementation of a disaster recovery plan for university computer systems and the addition of more staffing in computer services;
- an expenditure of $8,100 from the educational and general operating budget to repaint the walls in faculty offices at Crabaugh Hall;
- awarding a construction contract to Circle M Construction in the amount of $328,213 for phase I of a planned data recovery center;
- a transfer of $432,106 from the housing unappropriated fund balance to help cover the costs associated with purchasing room furniture and common area furniture for the residence hall under construction on M Street, which will open in fall 2013;
- a bicycle policy for the university that establishes guidelines for the safe operation and storage of bicycles on campus;
- a letter of notification that will be forwarded to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board that proposes a name change for the Bachelor of Arts degree in speech, which would henceforth be known as the Bachelor of Arts degree in communication;
- in accordance with Act 1646 of 2001, a certification that as of Dec. 31 sufficient appropriations and funds are available or will become available to meet all current and anticipated obligations of Arkansas Tech during the fiscal year for the payment of the obligations when they become due;
- in accordance with Arkansas Statute 25-16-902, authorization to reimburse members of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees for expenses incurred when they perform official board duties during the 2013 calendar year;
- awarding a construction contract in the amount of $47,000 to Dixon Constructing, Inc., of Fort Smith to perform a renovation to the courtyard area near the Technology and Academic Support Building at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, with funding available from unspent bond funds from the 2011 student union project;
- initiation of the architectural firm selection process for a proposed new allied health building at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus;
- an administrative unit proposal for the Associate of Applied Science in health sciences program at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus;
In personnel-related matters, trustees approved the full-time appointments of:
- Jasmine Greer, assistant professor of art, for the spring 2013 semester; *Noma Kellner, visiting instructor of biology and nursing, for the spring 2013 semester;
- Melinda Rhynes, visiting instructor of medical assisting, for the spring 2013 semester;
- Raymond Monica, head football coach, effective Dec. 17, 2012;
- Scott Symons, Kurt Corbin and Raleigh Jackson, assistant football coaches, effective Jan. 3, 2013.
Trustees accepted the retirements of:
- Dr. Gene Black, professor of management and a member of the Arkansas Tech faculty since 1991, effective May 11, 2013;
- Harold L. Cornett, Jr., capital asset and property manager and a member of the Arkansas Tech staff since 1975, effective Jan. 31, 2013;
- Merrell Shoptaw, director of computer services and a member of the Arkansas Tech staff since 1978; effective June 30, 2013.
Trustees approved the termination of the following employee:
- J. Caleb Harderson, instructor in construction technology at Arkansas Tech Career Center, effective Dec. 17, 2012.
The resignations of the following employees were accepted:
- Christy L. Emerson, Upward Bound target school liaison, effective Dec. 21, 2012;
- Kristen Musser, instructor in the English Language Institute, effective Jan. 7, 2013;
- Dr. Regina Thomason, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, effective Dec. 31, 2012;
- Jerry Arbaugh, drafting technology instructor at Arkansas Tech Career Center, effective May 30, 2013;
- Alicen McMahan, coordinator of student recruitment at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, effective Jan. 3, 2013.
(Source: Arkansas Tech)