Conway Corporation’s Board of Directors recently approved and pledged $3 million to the University of Central Arkansas for the construction and renovation of the Lewis Science Center on campus.
“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.”
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.
The redesign will also include significant improvements in equipment efficiency and energy utilization with LEED certification.
“This gift from Conway Corporation is one of the most significant developments in the history of the University,” UCA President Tom Courtway said. “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 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 plan 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.
Since then, Conway Corporation has continued its strong commitment to all levels of education in the community.
“Conway Corporation recognized in the beginning and recognizes now, the importance of higher education to our local economy,” Conway Corporation’s Board of Directors Chairman Bill Adkisson said. “The improvements and construction planned for the Lewis Science Center are of strategic importance for the University and Conway,”
“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 groundbreaking for the new expansion will be Spring 2015, and it will be ready for students in January 2017.