The Southern Arkansas University campus seems to be continually transforming. As work continues to complete projects on the Blue and Gold Vision master plan, one might have to do a double take to recognize parts of the campus.
In fall 2011, the University held a grand opening celebration for the Mulerider Activity Center. The $5 million facility was requested by students and designed with a tremendous amount of student input. The “MAC” houses state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength training equipment, an indoor walking track, a full size basketball/volleyball court, meeting rooms, a smoothie bar and offices.
In order to construct the MAC, the University demolished a World War II-era motor pool building that once housed a Sherman tank. It was most recently used as the athletic weight room.
A new Strength Training Center was constructed just behind Goodheart Field (home of Mulerider baseball).
A private donation facilitated the purchase of all new strength training equipment for the facility which is used by all of the University’s men’s and women’s athletic teams.
Driving down U.S. 82, one cannot help but notice the construction of a new covered rodeo arena. A $2.45 million gift from Therral and Jan Story of Magnolia and other funds made available through the SAU Foundation have made this project possible. The arena will be the home to the University’s nationally competitive rodeo team.
University officials are working to raise an additional $500,000 to construct a reception center. This building will connect to the front of the rodeo arena and house restrooms, ticket booths, concessions, an office, and a meeting room. Once this building is constructed, the facility will be open for public use.
The University is anxiously awaiting construction of a new Center for Agricultural Studies. This building will be the new home for the Department of Agriculture, currently housed in Childs Hall.
The Agriculture Center will be constructed at a cost of approximately $6 million. The funds were acquired through a bond issue. Plans are currently being finalized with construction planned to begin in the spring. The University hopes to complete construction on the building by the end of 2012.