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UCA takes one step toward Greek Village

Posted: September 8, 2012 - 5:13pm

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees agreed Friday to spend $294,200 to hire an architectural and engineering firm to draw up plans for Greek Village, a proposed, multimillion-dollar housing development.

“The only way to give the Board [of Trustees] the best numbers is to have someone on the ground,” President Tom Courtway said.

The move is a first step toward building a major housing development — estimated to cost up to $18 million — to house fraternity and sorority members. Greek Village would go up on about 12.5 acres at the corner of Dave Ward Drive and Farris Road and could add about 350 beds at UCA. That would help relieve housing needs as the university continues to grow, officials said previously.

On Friday, the board agreed to hire Caradine Companies Architecture out of Little Rock. The company will provide professional architectural design and engineering services, according to documents presented at the meeting. The company will produce reproductions, geotechnical and surveying, engineering services and courier services and postage,

The proposed Village is large scale. Infrastructure alone for Greek Village is expected to cost about $4 million.

The university has been talking about Greek Village since about 2004, but the project fell through the cracks for years as UCA tried to rebuild its finances after going into the red in 2008. But, UCA is out of its financial hole, showing about $12 million in unrestricted cash revenue, and has not maxed its debt, which could be used to build new.

UCA officials said previously now is the time to act on Greek Village.

Besides low interest rates available to UCA, officials must work quickly if they want to prevent some of the university’s 22 fraternity and sorority organizations, and its 975 members, from building their own facilities off campus. One fraternity that currently leases a building from UCA will have the option to move off campus in about a year because of a contract with UCA made when the fraternity sold its property to the university.

Bids for the engineering and architectural services approved Friday went out May 16. Caradine beat out eleven firms that submitted proposals, which were reviewed by a committee. The state has reviewed and approved the method of financing and professional consultant services contract, according to the summary report.

At the same time, UCA is moving forward by once-again talking with students about Greek Village. At 6 p.m., UCA will host a Greek Convocation at Reynolds Performance Hall to talk with students about the Village “housing concept,” according to a news release.

The meeting is informational only, but some trustees plan to attend.

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ARBEAR
1330
Points
ARBEAR 09/09/12 - 10:40 am
4
0
Wheres the raise?

And still no faculty and staff raises or cost of living adjustments for five of the last six years.

NoKidding
2460
Points
NoKidding 09/09/12 - 11:03 am
4
0
Gas prices are high.

Is a police substation part of the plans?

DougWM
84
Points
DougWM 09/09/12 - 12:08 pm
5
0
Only private money

UCA should use only private money (or some of Aramark's) for this
project. There are tons of former greeks that would donate to study this project and even build a greek village. This is how Lu got UCA into financial problems.

"The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees agreed Friday to spend $294,200 to hire an architectural and engineering firm to draw up plans for Greek Village"

Shameful
4680
Points
Shameful 09/09/12 - 07:55 pm
5
0
Wow!

Why doesn't the Greek community let UCA know that they really don't want to live on campus? Not 8 years ago and not now!

i_wonder
27122
Points
i_wonder 09/09/12 - 08:39 pm
4
0
well
Unpublished

It's all Greek to me.

arkansasobserver
3324
Points
arkansasobserver 09/10/12 - 06:57 am
4
0
By all means necessary...

Let's max-out out debt at UCA. That seems to be the fashionable thing to do these days.

"But, UCA is out of its financial hole, showing about $12 million in unrestricted cash revenue, and has not maxed its debt, which could be used to build new."

Scarlet Sims
1976
Points
Scarlet Sims 09/10/12 - 10:13 am
3
0
Proceeding cautiously

Although I am sure UCA will have to take on some bond debt to achieve some of its critical need plans (a science building, for example), the board of trustees indicated Friday they plan to move cautiously on any debts.

Also, for background, visit: http://thecabin.net/news/2012-08-09/greek-village-gets-new-life for previous story.

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