Tunnel addition increases cost for new Arkansas baseball center

By: Jaime Adame
Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2019
An artist's rendering shows the exterior of a proposed baseball operations center on the grounds of Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Arkansas Razorbacks
An artist's rendering shows the exterior of a proposed baseball operations center on the grounds of Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.

— A baseball clubhouse at the University of Arkansas will be built for about $26 million instead of $20 million to $25 million after trustees approved design changes last Monday.

A tunnel added to the design will connect the planned Baseball Development Center at Baum-Walker Stadium to the game-day dugout.

The center, estimated at 40,000 to 45,000 square feet, will be paid for in part by a bond issue of up to $31.25 million payable over 15 years, as well as by athletic revenue and gifts, according to documents presented to UA trustees. The bonds are to be repaid with revenue from athletics and any future student athletic fee, according to the board's resolution, which also states that no such fee is planned.

Principal and interest remaining to be paid on bonds financing UA athletic projects totaled $210.9 million as of June 30, 2018, according to the university's most recent financial report.

Trustees approved the bond issue and baseball project in separate votes during a teleconference meeting, said UA System spokesman Nate Hinkel.

The bonds will also help pay for a track operations center at UA that was estimated in May to cost $12 million to $15 million.

In November, UA trustees approved the two architecture firms for what at the time was estimated to be a $20 million to $25 million baseball clubhouse project.

WER Architects/Planners, which has offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville, and HKS Architects, an international firm with offices in various cities, were selected, with Kinco Constructors as the project's general contractor.

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