The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has unveiled a new state-of-art project management lab sponsored in part by Little Rock-based Clark Contractors, which has hired a number of the school’s graduates.
Renovations, which were made and designed by Clark Contractors and Taggart Architects respectively, included removing tiered seating, a new ceiling, paint, and LED lights, low profile power outlets, and adding lightweight tables and chairs. In addition to renovating the lab, Clark Contractors provided a $50,000 donation dispersed over five years to maintain the equipment, software, furniture, and supplies for the lab.
The goal of the lab is to prepare construction management and civil engineering students for future careers.
“This gift has provided a state-of-the-art Project Management Lab for teaching estimating, construction scheduling, project administration, and other construction management topics,” said Dr. Hollis “Hank” Bray, chair of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering. “It showcases unique projects completed by Clark Contractors which employs a number of our program alumni.”
The lab is housed on the third floor of the Engineering, Technology, and Applied Science Building at UA Little Rock. It is one of the largest classrooms in the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering.
“The Clark PM Lab will help to prepare the next generation of construction management and engineering professionals so that they may be better equipped to embark upon careers in the construction industry and contribute to the built community,” said William Clark, Clark Contractors CEO.
“Almost 40% of our salaried employees are graduates from the University of Little Rock,” Clark added. “Being able to give back and help further establish the resources of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering is a dream come true for us.”
UA Little Rock said that 100% of its graduates in the Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering department are employed upon graduation.
Other people and businesses who helped complete the renovation include: Meredith Davies, Brandon Ruhl, and Bill Gray of Taggart Architects; Anthony Brooks of Platinum Drywall; Jonathan Rogers of Arnold and Blevins; Eric Bailey of Bailey Paint; Kevin Perry of JCP Floorcovering Contractors, Dana Guess of PC Hardware, Sabrina Huddleston of DFI Architectural Signs, and Lucy Beth Owens of ImageWorks Commercial Interiors.
“The importance of this lab and our contribution to the design goes well beyond the physical environment,” said Brandon Ruhl, designer and project architect at Taggart Architects. “Now, more than ever, it is extremely important to invest in the education and development of our future colleagues. Without talented and knowledgeable project managers, the demand for our services, cost for materials and labor, and inflation will continue to rise. It is our hope that our investment into the Clark PM Lab at UA Little Rock will contribute to a strengthened workforce in our architecture, engineering, and construction community across the state of Arkansas.”