Many questioning new football facility over half-built Humanitie - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Many questioning new football facility over half-built Humanities & Social Sciences building

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  It's become an eyesore on the A-State Campus, the rusting metal frame that is set to be the future home of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

There is minor construction being done on the building, but Sophomore Music Education Major Tyler Worsham said he's not hopeful about the progress.

"The fact that it's been the same structure for a long period of time kind of concerns me...it's like they're not making any progress at all," Worsham said.

The current construction is to finish erecting the steel that was put on hold during the previous stage of construction. However, this structure is five years in the making and with little funding coming in, the completion date is still up in the air. 

Worsham said he hopes that date will come soon, as the building is an eyesore and the construction is distracting.

"We could be going through a lecture or even a test and sometimes you just hear that rattling noise of construction work," Worsham told Region 8 News.

Worsham also feels the recent announcement of the new athletic facility goes to show where the priorities are on campus.

"The athletic department has so much support, yet whenever it comes to humanities, there might not be as equal support as the athletic department," Worsham said.

But Director of Engineering Services with Facilities Management at ASU, David Handwork says, it's not that they don't want the future Liberal Arts building to be finished. They just don't have the funding.

"When the economy comes back I would see the public funding that maybe we were desiring for this building, come back," Handwork said.

Handwork told Region 8 News that they would like to have the money come from state appropriations, like the original $4,000,000 they were given to begin construction in 2008. However, he said they are looking at other options.

"Private funding, that's something that the university is very grateful for but...it comes when it comes," Handwork said.

Most recently, "it" comes in the form of a $22,000,000 athletic facility to be built on the north end zone of the football field. That privately funded facility is set to be complete within the next two years.

Handwork says the University isn't showing favoritism. They just take what they can get.

"We are very grateful to get the gifts we've been given for athletics," Handwork said.

He told Region 8 News there is a silver lining on construction of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. There is currently a contract pending to get the shell of the building complete. He said they're eager to get that contract underway.

"They are mobilizing, have been mobilizing for the structural. We'll see a lot of activity this fall and winter and probably have the building envelope completed by some time in the early Spring, maybe early Summer," Handwork said.

As of now, there is no set completion date for the future College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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