New Projects Add Worth To University, Will Attract More Quality Students

UCA’s future looks to be a bright one. With the Donaghey Corridor, Greek Village and an add-on to Lewis Science Center, the size and quality of the university continue to expand.

First and most importantly, the Lewis Science Center will be renovated and then will get an addon by 2017 if all goes well. While other projects may bring more money to UCA, renovating the Lewis Science Center is imperative to attract quality students in the sciences.

The current building is functional, but has not been renovated since 1987. Several other universities in the state have new, state-of-the-art science facilities, so it is important UCA is brought up to speed as well.

The renovations and expansion make sense, given the recent addition of the Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics residential college. STEM Residential College focuses on the hard sciences, so it makes sense to renovate the science building to match the quality of the residential hall. Attracting science students to UCA only works well if there is a good science center to back it up.

Lewis Science Center is not the only building on campus in need of revamping, however. Several other buildings on campus, including Irby Hall and Mashburn Hall, could use some renovations as well. While not as dire as Lewis Science Center’s needs, UCA should look into making those buildings more current in the near future as well.

The Donaghey Corridor Project will bring businesses and extra housing to UCA. While the details have yet to be ironed out, the project will bring places to shop and eat nearer to campus.

The concept is similar to Hendrix’s Market Square, which includes restaurants and housing. UCA will need to be sure to attract quality restaurants and shops. Cheap options are nice, but will not increase the value of the university. Healthy options are also a must for the new shopping center. Hopefully UCA will make the project its own and tailor it to the campus, making it an extension of the university rather than an awkward addition to add business.

Also in UCA’s future plans is a Greek Village. While there are already fraternity houses dotting the outer edge of the campus, a Greek Village will put them all in one place and also allow sorority houses for the first time in UCA’s history.

The initial plans look to make it a central hub at UCA and will be much more attractive to prospective students than the current houses. While the project is a solid idea for UCA, the university should take precautions to make sure the village is safe and does not get out of hand.

UCA has begun construction on the Greek Village, but the project is nowhere near complete.

In the next few years, the UCA campus will expand significantly. These three projects, among others, will be important stepping stones toward making UCA a larger, more competitive university.

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