The University of Central Arkansas announced today a $3 million gift, payable over five years beginning in 2016, from the Conway Corporation, the city-owned utility system.
In other words, ratepayers, including the UCA campus, are paying sufficient rates to allow for the $3 million rebate.
Said the university in a release:
Conway Corporation, operator of Conway’s city-owned utility system, has pledged $3 million to the University of Central Arkansas, for the construction and renovation of the Lewis Science Center on campus. The gift was approved recently by Conway Corporation’s Board of Directors.
“This gift from Conway Corporation is one of the most significant developments in the history of the University,” said UCA President Tom Courtway. “These funds will enhance Lewis Science Center and will help provide state-of-the-art laboratories and scientific facilities for our students. It is another manifestation of why Conway Corporation was founded and continues the strong tradition of its support to higher education in Conway.”
The gift will be paid out at approximately $600,000 per year over five years, beginning in 2016.
“Conway Corporation has at its foundation the support of higher education in our community. We were founded for this purpose in 1929 and are proud to continue that tradition,” said Conway Corporation’s CEO Richard Arnold.
“We realize the importance of the University of Central Arkansas to Conway. This gift will help continue to make UCA a premier institution of regional prominence. It will also enable
the University to focus on providing a quality academic infrastructure for its students and faculty.”
Conway Corporation was established in 1929 as the Conway community faced the threat of losing Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. In June of that year, Conway Corporation was given the lease to operate the city’s electric light plant and franchise. Bonds were issued in the amount of $215,000 and given to each of the three Conway colleges, along with the community’s public and parochial schools.
“Conway Corporation recognized in the beginning and recognizes now, the importance of higher education to our local economy. The improvements and construction planned for the Lewis Science Center are of strategic importance for the University and Conway,” said Conway Corporation’s Board of Directors Chairman Bill Adkisson. “We further hope this gift can be “leveraged” if matching opportunities are identified and, if so, we pledge to assist University staff in “tailoring” our support to maximize those opportunities. The entire UCA community can take pride in the world-class education it provides thousands of men and women and the impact the university’s graduates have on our community, state and nation.”
The Lewis Science Center expansion, a key initiative of the University’s Framework for the Future, includes a 50,000 square foot addition for teaching and laboratory space to accommodate current and future teaching methods. Also included in the design will be features allowing for significant improvements in equipment efficiency and energy utilization with LEED certification.
“On behalf of the UCA Board of Trustees and all our faculty, staff and students, we are deeply appreciative of this gift and what it will mean. We sincerely thank the Conway Corporation Board and CEO Richie Arnold. This is truly a transformative gift for our institution,” Courtway said.