The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has broken ground on its new $150 million energy project that is designed to address the institution’s energy needs and efficiencies. The project includes a $49 million electrical power plant.
UAMS officials, including Chancellor Cam Patterson, gathered today in a ceremony to officially start the construction process. “Moving forward with this work, we are seeing to the health of the university’s physical plant, so UAMS can continue to focus vigorously on the health of Arkansans, the education of its students and the innovation of its researchers. Part of our responsibility is being a good steward of the public’s dollars and of our finances in the most efficient way. This will help us do that,” Patterson said.
A bond issued approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will be paying for the project.
According to a UAMS news release, the construction process is projected to last three years. During this period, the new power plant will be built on the east side of the UAMS campus. This plant will provide full back-up power for the UAMS campus. Currently, the UAMS West Central Energy Plant provides back-up energy for UAMS’ in-patient facilities.
There will be upgrades made to the control systems, interior and exterior lighting, electrical systems, mechanical systems and building infrastructure.
UAMS is also addressing infrastructure and safety needs in the project by closing and rerouting traffic on Cedar Street onto the multilane expansion on Pine Street. Costs for the street projects is expected to be approximately $12 million, and the City of Little Rock has committed to contributing $4.6 million to that amount.
At the conclusion of the energy project, UAMS expects its energy efficiency ranking to be among the top 1 percent of all U.S. academic medical centers.