Ceremonial Groundbreaking Held for Residence Hall at the University of the Ozarks

From the University of the Ozarks:

Rain showers halted in time Thursday afternoon for officials at the University of the Ozarks to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new $27 million, four-story residence hall on North College Avenue (Highway 103).

The ceremony was attended by numerous students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and Clarksville city officials as well as representatives of Kinco Constructors and Credo Design Architects.

Construction began earlier this semester on the 250-bed, 64,000-square-foot residence hall, one of the largest capital construction projects in the University’s history. The residence hall is scheduled to be ready for freshmen to move in for the start of the Fall 2025 Semester.

“You are standing amid the beginning stages of one of the largest and grandest projects in this University’s nearly 200-year history,” said Susan Pinson, chair of the U of O Board of Trustees. “This building will not only forever change the Clarksville skyline, it marks a significant milestone for University of the Ozarks. This new residence hall will enhance our campus greatly — providing a comforting home-away-from-home for our students, inspiring a more engaging collegiate environment, and attracting additional students to our University.”

University President Richard Dunsworth told the gathering that the residence hall project aligns with the University’s strategic growth initiatives as well as the University’s broader vision outlined in the campus master plan — “fostering an environment where students can thrive and reach their fullest potential.”

“Supporting student success is the University of the Ozarks’ highest priority,” Dunsworth said. “Research has shown that students who live on campus tend to be more involved in campus activities, more connected to campus resources and are more likely to be satisfied with their university experience. Students who live on campus are more likely to succeed in the classroom, stay in school and graduate than students who live off campus … The magnitude of this new facility is indeed impressive, but what will be even more formidable will be the impact that this building will have on students of this University for generations to come.”

Cody Williamson, a junior political science major from Fayetteville, Ark., and the president-elect of the Student Government Association for 2024-25, also spoke at the ceremony.

“This is not just the beginning of a construction project, but the laying of the foundation for a home away from home for future generations of students,” Williamson said. “This new dorm will stand as a testament to the University’s commitment to student comfort and excellence … I’m excited to see how this dorm will help students thrive academically, socially, and personally.”

The new residence hall will be divided into 10 housing communities and will include both single and double-occupancy rooms as well as a community kitchen on the first floor. There will be common/collaborative areas on each floor where students will be able to gather and socialize with one another. The two common areas on the first and second floors will also serve as shelter-in-place areas.

Other features of the new hall include an elevator, study rooms, a gaming lounge, laundry rooms, a residential staff office, and a professional staff apartment.

The name of the new residence hall will be determined at a later date. Kinco Constructors, LLC out of Springdale, Ark., is the project’s construction company and Credo Design Architects is the architectural firm.