ASU Liberal Arts Building Project comes to a halt; why?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Liberal Arts Construction Project at Arkansas State University began the building process back in 2009. But a year ago, that movement stopped, and has been standing stagnant ever since.

"The community has a lot of know, when is it going to be completed?" said ASU Director of Engineering David Handwork.

The tall metal skeleton will eventually be the new Liberal Arts building at the ASU campus. But for the past year, the gates that surround the site have been chained shut, and the building...well, it hasn't changed. 

"The University would of liked to have to already completed," said Handwork.

He says construction on phase one began back in 2009, with the use of a 4 million dollar appropriation from the state, which has since run out.

"We would have liked to of gotten full funding for the project, and had the project completed as one phase. But unfortunately, with the current situation, with the economy the state has only been able to appropriate portions of the full scope," said Handwork.

The University has taken steps to try and get some movement going on the building process, reaching out to both the Legislature and Governor's Office. 

"To make sure that they are aware of the need of completing the project and to fulfill the purpose of this project, which is to serve the need of our students with a growing population," said Handwork.

But he says right now the money's just not there. And until that time comes, the metal structure will remain unfinished smack dab in the middle of campus.

"It's probably a combination of just many demands on the state legislature and looking at different needs around the state, different institutions, and we're just one of many. All we can really say is we're waiting for the money," said Handwork.

Handwork says even though phase one has been at a stand still, they only constructed what they knew wouldn't be effected by weather conditions. When the funds do become available, he expects to be able to pick up right where they left off. 

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