Construction ahead of schedule on UAPB STEM Academy

Workers with Mike Paul Masonry and C+F Steel under the supervision of Con-Real Construction Management can be work on the two-story building that will be the future home of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s STEM Academy. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)

By Michael S. Lee | Pine Bluff Commercial

Construction activity continues on the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff STEM Academy and Conference Center, with the project proceeding ahead of schedule, according to Mary Benjamin, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“We are about a week ahead of schedule thanks to the dry weather we’ve had,” Benjamin said Tuesday. “The foundation work is completed, the block wall is almost done and we are in the early stages of erecting steel.”

Benjamin said a topping-off ceremony will be held in the near future to celebrate the completion of the building frame work.

“We are expecting the STEM Academy to be finished in April of next year,” Benjamin said. “The conference center will be a little behind that. We hope that it will be finished next August.

“We are excited and our students can’t wait to begin their studies in the new building,” Benjamin said.

The academy

The project, located on L. A. “Prexy” Davis Drive adjacent to the HPER Complex, is expected to cost $8.2 million and will consist of two stories covering 29,000 square feet. Green concepts are being incorporated into its design and construction.

Con-Real LP of Little Rock is managing the construction of the complex that was designed by Moody-Nolan and Woods Group Architects.

The project is primarily being funded by Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 under the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program.

Space will be provided for a wet lab, computer lab, class/seminar rooms, student resource center, conference rooms and an 8,000-square-foot auditorium for large assemblies.

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