UA to break ground Thursday on $45 million student success center

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,478 views 

Construction will start Thursday (Sept. 12) on a new $45 million facility at the University of Arkansas that is expected to help students navigate financial, academic and other roadblocks they may face on their journey to graduation.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the building — dubbed the Student Success Center — will start at 11 a.m. Thursday at the construction site in the heart of the Fayetteville campus, between Memorial Hall and Old Main.

The four-story, 71,000-square-foot building is designed to fit in with the architectural style of the historic core of campus, according to a UA news release, with modern touches such as vast windows lining each floor.

The building is scheduled to open in early 2022.

“We believe every student we admit can succeed at the University of Arkansas and the Student Success Center will help our students do so,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz sain the release. “This center is an essential part of our one-student-at-a-time philosophy here at the U of A. It will provide a hub of services and resources to support students from the time they are admitted through graduation and the beginning of their careers.”

Trevor Francis, associate vice provost and director of student success, said student success initiatives include utilizing predictive analytics to engage in proactive academic, financial and personal advising and tutoring. The new building will also provide collaborative and cross-functional workspaces to drive a comprehensive approach to retaining and graduating students, beginning when they are still in high school.

“This center will provide one-stop comprehensive academic support for our students and allow us to expand our student success initiatives,” he said. “This center is an innovative approach that we think will become a model for how to maximize the success of students on a university campus.”

The building will also house offices for the Teaching and Faculty Support Center and advisors in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

While the center will unify many student success efforts across campus, the Office of Student Success will also continue current partnerships and form new ones with Student Affairs and academic units across campus to offer resources, share best practices and collaborate on programming to help students, according to the release.

Little Rock-based VCC is the general contractor. HBRA Architects of Chicago is the design architect and Core Architects of Rogers is the architect of record. Arkansas-based engineering firms DCI and BernhardTME are also working on the project.