UCA Board Approves HPER Expansion Project, Campus Master Plan

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Friday that would allow the issuance of $15.5 million in auxiliary bonds to finance an expansion project for the Health Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center.

The project will add a swimming pool, additional exercise rooms, weight room space and lockers, racquetball courts, and student meeting space. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014.

Trustees also approved a $1.62 per credit hour increase in the HPER fee to help pay for the project. This will bring the total HPER fee to $9.12 per hour and will generate an estimated $437,400, according to university officials. This means a student taking 14 hours will pay an additional $24.30. The fee increase was approved by the Student Government Association last year.

The board passed a resolution authorizing the administration to hire an architectural and engineering firm for the HPER Center expansion project.

Also Friday, the board approved a campus master plan as a guide for future property acquisitions, buildings, open space, parking and transit. The plan calls for science, historic/academic, business and arts and student housing districts and creates a framework for the next 20 years and beyond.

Phase one of the plan calls for learning commons, a new science building, Student Center expansion, Greek Village, Physical Plant relocation and the creation of additional open space. The architectural firm of Witsell Evans Rasco presented a draft of the plan to trustees in December.

In other business, the board:

- Passed a resolution that establishes a formal President’s Residence Advisory Committee. The committee will review any proposed architectural, structural, or landscaping changes to the president’s home and surrounding grounds.

- Approved degree programs that have been reduced to 120-hours in compliance with state law.

- Approved an official university seal. In the past, the university has used the State of Arkansas’s seal with the institution’s name printed around it.

- Received notice of a memorandum of understanding between UCA Department of Early Childhood and Special Education and the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton to facilitate a degree completion program in early childhood education.