By Dave Woods | DiscoverNorthwestArkansas.com
Dan Clairmont has a big job. As University of Arkansas’ director of engineering and construction, he oversees campus building projects from the design phase through completed construction.
“We currently have in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars in various stages of design and construction throughout the campus,” he said. “It’s pretty big and a lot of work. We have the Falkner Performing Arts Center. They just finished construction on a new theater off the Fayetteville Square at our global campus. We just received a grant from the Walton Family for an art and design district with some lab, studio and gallery space.”
Being an asset to the Northwest Arkansas community is an important role for the university.
“We have all kinds of events from lectures, presentations and groups that want to meet on campus,” he explained. “We have a process where people can reserve outdoor space on campus if they want to have an event and use some space on campus as an outdoor venue.”
Large projects, such as the completion of the Reynolds Stadium North End Zone addition, are highly anticipated, but others are just as important, but maybe not as high profile.
“We are working on a new 700 bed dorm,” he noted. We are about to undergo a major renovation of the Mullins Library. We try to maintain the core campus and the historical importance of the facilities. Old Main is a cornerstone and we recently renovated its portico on the front and a historic renovation of The Wall on Arkansas Ave.”
The university has received financial assistance with projects via the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.
“We have a project with an ANCRC grant to help with a historic renovation of the home economics building,” he said. “We were just awarded a project to begin design on our Student Success Center.”
Maintaining the historic appearance of buildings while keeping up with modern design practices are a priority for those who manage campus construction projects.
“The Student Success Center is under design,” Dan said. “The site is right next to Old Main. Making sure that the design and materials are all consistent with the historic nature of the core campus is important.”