By SCARLET SIMS
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER
Officials at the University of Central Arkansas plan to talk about how to spend about $2.2 million the university will see under a new beverage-service contract with Coca-Cola Refreshment Co.
“This is a work in progress,” Faculty Senate President Kevin Browne said. “As far as the allocation goes, my understanding is that nothing definite has been determined at this point.”
President Tom Courtway plans to talk about spending the money during the faculty senate meeting Tuesday.
While some administrators want to see the money pay off debt on the strength and conditioning facility that opened last year, others think the money should go toward academic needs. But the UCA Foundation, Inc., a private corporation nonprofit benefitting UCA, owes about $1 million on the strength facility. That facility — Part of the Pepsi Americas Center — was supposed to have been paid for by a private donor, but the money fell through, officials said previously.
UCA Athletic Director Brad Teague said what is owed on the weight room facility will be paid off by surpluses from the skyboxes and the NCAA over 15 years.
The $2 million from a previous 10-year contract with Pepsi went to athletics needs, but the Foundation owes about $2.9 million for the skyboxes and weight training facility combined, according to documents from UCA.
The Foundation took out loans for both the weight room and skybox projects. The weight room was donated to UCA once completed, but the Foundation leases skyboxes to UCA, which then re-lets them to third parties, according to UCA documents.
Under current allocations, $70,000 goes to athletics, $25,000 goes to housing and $25,000 goes to the student center, UCA records show. Under the new contract, with the same distribution, UCA would have an extra $93,000 to spend.
On Monday, UCA administrators met with Coca-Cola representatives to negotiate the deal.
Browne said the communication line “between the president’s office and the faculty, staff and students on this issue is an open one.”
“The bottom line is that we’re still talking about it,” Browne said.