SAU breaks ground for engineering building

engirneeringgroundbreaking_7115-sizedSouthern Arkansas University broke ground on a new engineering building on Tuesday, April 28, just behind the University Science Center.

SAU launched the only four-year engineering program in the southern half of Arkansas this past fall, and enrollment has reached more than 50 students in the first year. The University currently offers four degree possibilities with the Bachelor of Science in Engineering with options in chemical engineering, industrial technology, mechanical engineering, or science.

“The new Bachelor of Science in Engineering program has been more successful than we could have imagined,” said SAU President Emeritus Dr. David Rankin. “As we move forward, we want to make sure our faculty and students have the facilities they need for a high-caliber engineering degree.”

Major construction on the project will begin later this summer and is expected to take about nine months to complete, according to Jasper Lewis, vice president for facilities at SAU. The building was designed through a joint venture with WER and CADM architects.

The 13,000 square foot academic building will house laboratory, classroom, and faculty office space. Including equipment and other furnishings, Lewis estimated the project will result in a total investment of $2.75 million.

SAU has made tremendous investments in facilities for the College of Science and Engineering over the past five years. The University opened the 60,000 square foot University Science Center in 2010 at a cost of over $17.5 million. The building is complimented by the 3,000 square foot Natural Resource Research Center which contains seven separate laboratories equipped with extensive state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation to meet the needs of industry, public agencies, and private citizens. The University also boasts an Engineering Simulation and 3D Printing Lab for making prototypes.

The SAU Office of Development continues to seek private investment for the new engineering facility. More information may be obtained by contacting Assistant Vice President for Development Josh Kee at (870) 235-4321 or

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