State approves $33 million bond issue for new housing

ARKADELPHIA - The Arkansas Higher Education CoordinatingBoard Friday approved a $33 million, 30-year bond issue for Henderson State University.Funds from the bonds will used to purchase and update the Whispering Oaksapartment complex and construct two new residence halls on campus.{}

"As a part of our strategic planning process, we haveidentified the need to grow enrollment, improve student life, and increaseretention to graduation," said HSU President Glen Jones. "By opening additionalhigh quality living facilities on the Henderson State campus, we willpositively impact our student experience as we work toward our goal of having1,700 students living on campus."

Students and their parents expect and need Henderson toprovide the best living spaces possible, Jones added. With the approval of thebonds, Henderson State will build two new residence halls. One of the buildingswill be a 240-bed, apartment-style complex, while the other will be a 300-bed,elegant traditional residence hall. There are 288 beds in the Whispering Oakscomplex, bringing the total number of new beds to 828.The new residence hallswill eventually take the place of Smith Hall and Newberry Hall, built in 1965and 1968 respectively.

"This is a small part of what Henderson is doing to reachour long-term goal of increasing enrollment to 5,000 students," Jones said, "aswell as providing the best possible experience for students."