Board Approves Bid for Student Union

Baswell Techionery, the new student union at Arkansas Tech University scheduled for completion in summer 2011, is one step closer to becoming a reality.  The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees has accepted a bid of $3.3 million from James Cone Construction of Little Rock to build Baswell Technionery. The action came during the board’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday.  Construction on the 14,220-square foot facility, which will be located between Dean Hall and Chambers Cafeteria on the Russellville campus, will begin this summer. An artist’s rendering of the new facility appears here. Once complete, the Baswell Techionery will provide Arkansas Tech students with a modern and attractive on-campus venue for social activities. The new student union is named for Col. Carl F. Baswell, a 2009 inductee into the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction. Baswell is a member of the Tech Class of 1942 and among the most generous benefactors of his alma mater. The name Baswell Techionery is a nod to Arkansas Tech history.

Generations of Tech students spent their free time in the original Techionery, which was built at what is now the corner of North El Paso Ave. and West O Street in 1937. Student Eugene Rowden won $1 for suggesting the name of the building.

The Techionery served as the student union until the construction of the W.O. Young Student Center in 1959. Today, the original Techionery building serves as the home of the Arkansas Tech Museum.

Funding for the construction and furnishing of Baswell Techionery will come from a combination of private funds and the university’s unappropriated fund balance.

Baswell Techionery was far from the only campus improvement project considered by the Board of Trustees on Thursday.

The board gave its approval for renovations to Dean Hall to provide improved classroom and laboratory space for Arkansas Tech’s programs in emergency management, medical technology and agriculture.

The renovations will also upgrade the Health and Wellness Center, which is a resource available to students, faculty and staff.

The Dean Hall renovations will be performed by Stoney Developers of Conway, which made a bid of $299,975. Funding for the project will come from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance.

Renovations will also be performed at Campus Court, a student housing facility located on Aspen Lane. New carpet, repair and painting of walls and ceilings and bathroom renovations will be accomplished by Gerald Prince Construction at a cost of $68,000.

Funding for the Campus Court renovations will come from the unappropriated housing fund balance.

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees also gave its approval for $353,475 in parking lot improvements on the Russellville campus. Those upgrades will include an addition to the Tucker Coliseum parking lot and paving parking lots at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex, on L Street just south of Williamson Hall and at Hughes Residence Hall.

In other business on Thursday, the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees approved:

*extending the same out-of-state tuition charge waiver to Arkansas Tech graduate students who are legal residents of states contiguous to Arkansas as the waiver that is already extended to undergraduate Arkansas Tech students from contiguous states;

*a transfer of $64,186 from the unappropriated educational and general fund balance to finance office renovations at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus for faculty in English, health information technology, math, science and viticulture and enology;

*parking regulations for Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus for 2010-11.