ASU Students Helping Pay for New Center

Arkansas State University has plans to spend $30 million on buildings.

Construction on a new, 92,000 SF, multilevel student union will begin after the first of the year, said Rick Stripling, interim vice president for student affairs.

Once the $18 million building is complete in about two years, it will have a fitness center, a game room, a food court with national franchises, and student development offices.

The students liked the idea of a new student union so much that that they approved a fee of $5 per credit hour to pay for it, Stripling said.

“They wanted a place that was warm and inviting,” he said. “The existing building is about 30-something years old, and it needs to be updated.”

The new building will be added on to the current student union, the Carl R. Reng Center. When the new building is finished, the old center will be renovated. After the renovation, the center will house career services, admissions, a cashier’s office and other student services departments.

Stripling said he hoped both projects would be completed in four years.

“It’s a long time, but not that long,” he said.

The renovations to the old student center will cost about $8 million, and the money will come from the state Legislature.

The university will also begin construction on a three-level parking garage in the next couple of weeks. The 503-space garage will cost about $4 million and should be completed about October 2001.

Parking fees will pay for the new garage.

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