Tech Moves Forward on Cafeteria Remodel

Arkansas Tech University will engage in an $8.7 million renovation to Chambers Cafeteria over the coming weeks and months that will yield a refurbished, 900-seat space for dining by Tech students in time for the fall 2013 semester.

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees approved the issuance of an additional $1.75 million in revenue bonds to complete financing for the project during its monthly meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday.

Trustees also issued a construction contract to CDI Contractors of Little Rock to perform the renovation. CDI Contractors submitted the low bid among four firms that vied for the contract.

Previous bond issues and the one approved by trustees on Thursday will cover approximately $7.3 million of the funds needed to complete the project. The remaining $1.4 million will come from the university’s food service auxiliary fund balance.

David Moseley, senior vice president for administration and finance at Arkansas Tech, noted during Thursday’s board meeting that the project will be completed without any additional fees for Arkansas Tech students.

Chambers Cafeteria was dedicated on the Arkansas Tech campus in February 1966. It is named in honor of the Chambers family of Danville, which has been represented on the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees for three generations — Judge John Ed Chambers (who served 1925-37, 1939-53 and 1955-63), John Ed Chambers II (who served 1965-67 and 1987-88) and John Ed Chambers III (who served 1994-99 and 2007-present).

In other construction-related business on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees gave administrators permission to move forward with a plan to create 231 additional parking spaces on the main campus in Russellville.

The new spaces would be added to the existing Critz Residence Hall parking lot near the intersection of North Glenwood Avenue and M Street. Seventy-four parking spaces will be added on the north end and 157 parking spaces will be added on the south end of the Critz Hall lot.

The additional parking will allow the university to account for needed additional residence hall parking in the southwest portion of campus due to the construction of the new M Street Residence Hall, which will open in fall 2013.

Cost for creating the additional parking spaces will be $500,000. Trustees approved a transfer from the unrestricted educational and general fund balance to cover the cost of the project.

Also on Thursday, trustees approved:

*an expenditure of $27,535 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to allow for improvements to the doors at Witherspoon Hall, Tomlinson Hall and Rothwell Hall and the creation of a ramp on the north side of Rothwell Hall per recommendations from the university Americans With Disabilities Act committee;

*a letter of notification that states the Arkansas Tech College of Arts and Humanities will make its Associate of Arts degree in general education available through distance learning beginning in fall 2013;

*selection of Crafton Tull of Rogers as the architecture firm for the planned construction of a facility for the academic programs in allied health at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus.

In personnel matters, trustees approved the hiring of the following individuals as full-time faculty members for the 2013-14 academic year:

*Dr. Rebecca Garvin, assistant professor of English; Dr. Brian Lyons, associate professor of health and physical education; Rebecca M. McHugh, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. James E. Stobaugh, assistant professor of sociology; Dr. Aileen Watts, assistant professor of early childhood education; and Jennifer Willbanks, visiting instructor of psychology.

In other personnel-related matters, trustees approved the hiring of the following full-time professional staff members:

*Jim McSweeney as assistant athletic trainer, effective March 14, 2013;

*Danielle Stark as coordinator of student recruitment for Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, effective March 1, 2013.

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