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U Of A Takes Initial Steps To Construct Future Student Housing

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The University of Arkansas has started looking into building more student housing for a campus that is expected to see its largest freshman class ever by fall 2016.

Initial steps have been taken to work on the area of West Clinton Drive and South Virginia Avenue, where new residence halls will eventually be built.

Construction crews have been working on repaving Virginia Avenue and remastering the south intersection with Stadium Drive.

"We're creating a mini roundabout where Leroy Pond will be extended into the roundabout," said Mike Johnson, vice chancellor for facilities.

The project will include the removal of a section of West Clinton Drive between Leroy Pond Drive and Stadium Drive, which will make room for an expansion to the basketball practice facility parking lot.

Several houses have been demolished to make room for a temporary parking lot that will consume the area between West Clinton and South Virginia Drive.

Zach McKnight has lived in one of the houses set for demolition for the last year and a half.

"The landlord let us know a couple months ago that, 'Hey the university is going to take the house, they're going to bulldoze it. I don't want to sell it,'" McKnight said. "We kind of knew moving in that it was eventually going to happen. There's nothing the landlord can do about it."

The project was started in the summer of 2015, and was organized into several phases that will be completed each summer. This second phase is expected to be nearly finished by the time classes start on Aug. 22.

Summer 2017 will include the construction of a roundabout at the north intersection of West Clinton Drive and Stadium Drive, along with the widening of Stadium Drive, between West Clinton and Meadow Street.

"It's gonna grow a little larger community down here, so it'll be a little more active area," Johnson said. "We are going to have a nice road connection, and that's been missing for quite awhile."