ATU Sets Schedule for Young Building Demolition

W.O. Young Building
W.O. Young Building

Arkansas Tech University is beginning the process of demolishing the W.O. Young Building on its Russellville campus.

Following the installation of fence around the perimeter of the space, site work such as the removal of exterior lights and trees will take place Dec. 5-16. Demolition of the structure will begin Dec. 16 and is scheduled for completion by Feb. 17, 2023.

Once the Young Building is demolished, the parcel of land on which it sits will be prepared to host a new student union and recreation center at ATU. Construction of that facility will begin in 2023 with a scheduled completion date of summer 2025.

ATU’s student union and recreation center will include space for a campus living room/lounge, individual and group fitness activities, two basketball courts, outdoor recreation, a café, events at multiple scales, student organizations, food service, a convenience store/spirit shop, a multi-activity court and multi-purpose meeting rooms.

Learn more about the ATU’s new student union and recreation center at

Constructed as a student center and opened in January 1959, the Young Building is one aspect of a family heritage at Arkansas Tech that dates back more than a century.

W.O. Young oversaw the business affairs of Arkansas Tech as secretary and bursar from 1917-41 and acted as interim president of the college from 1923-25. His son, Robert A. Young Sr., served as purchasing agent, business manager, vice president for business affairs and vice president for administration and finance at Arkansas Tech from 1941-84 as well as interim president in 1972. Dr. Robert A. Young Jr., a resident of Russellville and retired dentist, has continued his family’s Tech tradition by serving as president of the Arkansas Tech Foundation and as a loyal supporter of Tech athletics.

The Young family’s contributions to Arkansas Tech are recognized through the naming of three annual student awards — the Robert A. Young Outstanding Marketing Graduate, the Robert A. Young Outstanding Management Graduate and the Margaret Young Award, which is presented each spring to the most outstanding senior female at ATU.

The Young family’s legacy at Arkansas Tech is also secured through Jerry the Bulldog. They owned the original Jerry during the 1930s and have provided significant support for the return of the tradition since the first modern Jerry — Jerry Charles Young I — was introduced and installed as ATU campus ambassador in October 2013. His successor, Jerry Charles Young II, took office as campus ambassador on Oct. 1, 2022.