University Dedicates Newest Residence Hall, Founders Hall
Founders Hall, the newest residence hall on the UofA campus, is dedicated Tuesday morning.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas has dedicated its newest student residence hall, Founders Hall, which opened this fall and is a welcome and needed addition to campus.
“Founders Hall is another example of the University Arkansas’ growth in both campus facilities and student enrollment,” said Danny Pugh, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students. “More importantly, it is a commitment to our students in providing them the necessary on-campus housing and dining supportive of their success in the classroom.”
The six-story, 78,500-square-foot residence hall not only has student living space but has also expanded the dining options for students in the middle of campus. The second floor of Founders Hall offers a direct connection to the current dining space on Brough Commons’ second floor, and has increased Brough dining space by approximately 225 seats.
“We knew building a residence hall at McIlroy and Dickson, near Brough Commons, meant we would need to add dining space,” said David Davies, assistant vice provost for finance and administration. “It’s a golden corner of campus.”
The first floor of Founders Hall holds retail dining establishments including Fayetteville’s own Slim Chickens and Papa Johns. In addition to these places to eat, the U of A has partnered with Compass Group, the parent company of Chartwells, the university’s food vendor, creating the “innovation café.” This one-of-a- kind partnership provides an outlet for Compass to test new food products, working with students in the food, nutrition and hospitality program of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. This year the innovation café concept is Asian food and is named after Chef Jet, a famous, world-record-holding chef.
The building dedication was opened by Pugh. “With the University of Arkansas advancing to become a top 50 public institution, we wanted to continue to foster and develop a living environment for students where not only do they feel they have the resources needed to do well in the classroom, but also at their ‘home away from home,’” Pugh said.
Chancellor G. David Gearhart described what the construction of Founders Hall means for the university in light of the U of A’s tremendous growth.
“The arrival of Founders Hall now provides more than 200 new beds and increases dining hall capacity by almost 400 seats,” Gearhart said. “More than beds and seats, it will enhance our students’ sense of community and place, giving them a home in the heart of campus.”
Steve Sweeney, president and chief executive officer of Chartwells; Onnissia Harries, Resident Interhall Congress president; Ellie Keffler, vice president of Associated Student Government; and Florence Johnson, executive director of university housing, all addressed the dedication audience as well.
Founders Hall is a mid-level choice for students on the university’s price-tiered housing system. It houses 214 students. There are also 10 study rooms throughout the hall and a low student- to-bathroom ratio. The residence hall is projected to achieve 30.2 percent more savings on energy consumption compared to the average hall of that size. The building’s cost of $26.5 million will be split with University Housing paying 75 percent of the total costs, and University Dining paying 25 percent.
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