The library expansion | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 21, 2007

The library expansion

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 10:39 AM


After a number of internal structural hurdles (photo was taken several weeks ago), the Central Arkansas Library System can now begin to see the end of the project to convert former commercial buildings across the street from the main library to a home for the Arkansas Studies Institute. Today, the Clinton School outlined its plans to take a floor of the center. Release on the jump.


LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, in cooperation with the Central Arkansas Library System, will open a new facility on the top floor of the historic Budget Office Building in the new CALS Arkansas Studies Institute on President Clinton Avenue in the River Market. The Arkansas Studies Institute is a joint venture with the Central Arkansas Library System and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The $1 million project will include classrooms and faculty offices as well as access to and use of conference and meeting rooms, galleries and research facilities. Built in 1882, the 5,700 square-foot facility is currently under renovation and will be completed before the opening of classes in fall 2008.

“This new facility will expand our campus from the Clinton Presidential Park to the River Market and provide us with the additional classroom space we need,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “It will also place us closer to the Main Library and provide our students access to additional study, meeting and conference rooms. It is within easy walking distance of our Sturgis Hall facility in the Clinton Presidential Park and easily accessible by the downtown trolley system.”

Because it is paying for the renovation, the Clinton School will lease the space for 20 years with a 20 year renewable option at no fee. The maintenance and operations costs for the facility are estimated to be about $75,000 annually and will be paid through the school’s regular operating budget.

“Our new River Market campus should meet our classroom needs for several years,” Rutherford said. “Because our students spend so much time completing public service projects off campus, we don’t need much infrastructure. And as part of our commitment to maximize existing urban resources, The Central Arkansas Library serves as our school library; the River Market as our student union; and when we need large auditorium space, we use the Clinton Presidential Center and the Statehouse Convention Center.

The project is being paid for with general improvement funds appropriated during the 2007 session of the Arkansas General Assembly.

“I am grateful to Governor Beebe and his staff and to Senators Jim Argue, Mary Anne Salmon and Tracy Steele for their support,” Rutherford said.

The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is the first graduate school in the nation offering a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree. An independent entity of the University of Arkansas System, the school works in collaboration with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. For more information, visit


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