UCA moves forward with Greek Village plan

OCTOBER 11, 2013
CONTACT: Jeff Pitchford, vice president for university and government relations, at jeffp@uca.edu or (501) 450-3185.
Fredricka Sharkey, associate director for media relations, at fsharkey@uca.edu or (501) 450 -5114.


CONWAY—The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees voted to move forward with plans to construct a Greek Village on the campus, starting with five 32-bed sorority houses and the first phase of a facility for additional sororities.

The board unanimously approved an amended resolution authorizing an “economic feasibility study for the issuance of bonds, in an amount not to exceed $13.8 million, to finance the design and construction of Greek Village Phase I.”

The approval came after an amendment to a proposed resolution authorizing a feasibility study for the issuance of bonds in an amount not to exceed $12 million, which would have allowed for 22 residents in each of the five sorority houses, rather than the now approved 32.

The Board of Trustees initially considered the 22-resident facilities, but several board members questioned whether they should look more to future growth in student enrollment and Greek membership, as well as the economic benefits.

“If we believe in this concept, if it brings in more revenue to offset some debt, and we have the capacity to build those beds, then why are we not looking at 32?” said Victor Green, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Other members of the board also expressed an interest in a more long-range view. “I just think we need to be looking more to the future,” said Bobby Reynolds, member of the Board of Trustees.

The project is anticipated to cost approximately $13.8 million. It includes construction, architect and engineering fees, utility work, infrastructure, furnishings and fixtures, and a contingency. The cost of five sorority houses with space for 22 residents was approximately $12 million.

Preliminary plans for the five sorority houses provide for a two-story Georgian design with a formal parlor, television room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and bedrooms and bathrooms on both floors. Each house would also have a meeting room at the back of the structure that would accommodate 150 to 200 students. Phase I of construction also includes construction of a 4,500-square-foot facility to be used by organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council. This facility will have four meeting rooms, a kitchen, and restrooms.

The issuance of the bonds must now be approved by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which will meet on October 25.

Other items on the Board of Trustees agenda included the following:

• The Board of Trustees was notified of the establishment of the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. The research center would focus on the connection between economic public policy and economic growth.

• A resolution was presented to the Board of Trustees that would allow the UCA Dental Insurance Plan to become self-funded. The measure passed unanimously.

• The bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs in public administration will be reconfigured.