Student-Athlete Success Center Groundbreaking Ceremony
The Student-Athlete Success Center is designed to address the academic, nutritional, personal and professional development of more than 460 student-athletes, creating an integrated academic support program focused on graduation of all student-athletes at the University of Arkansas. The approximately 55,000 square foot facility, is scheduled for completion in the Summer of 2015.
Below is a Q&A with Associate Athletic DirectorEric Woodon the new building.
Q: What does this groundbreaking represent in terms of Arkansas’ commitment to student-athletes?
EW:This groundbreaking represents the department’s commitment to excellence in every area for our student-athletes. That is the vision Jeff Long has created for all of us in Razorback Athletics and we continue to see the results of that. The Student Athlete Success Center will not only be one of the smartest buildings on campus, as it relates to technology, but it will be the largest facility in the SEC for academics, student athlete development, nutrition and sports psychology.
Q: How do you think the Student-Athlete Success Center will impact Arkansas athletics?
EW:The main focus in the design of all three of the facilities currently in construction is to increase student-athlete efficiency and effectiveness. So, the SASC will be a one stop shop for all of the aforementioned areas for student-athletes to maximize their time throughout the day. The facility will serve as the hub for all 460 student athletes to interact and call home. It will be the most used facility in athletics during their time as current Razorbacks, and the programs they participate in while in the building will also prove to impact them for their rest of their lives.
Q: What is an insider tidbit about the Student-Athlete Success Center that fans may not know?
EW:We were very strategic about not just calling this facility the academics center. While graduation is our top priority, we would have done our student-athletes a disservice if we did not address career development, leadership, financial literacy, nutrition, and mental health during their time as Razorbacks. So, since we are doing way more than academic counseling and tutoring in the building, we decided to name it appropriately to reflect the programs that will contribute to student-athlete success, and that success looks different for each person.
Q: What feature about the Student-Athlete Success Center has wowed you the most?EW:The features that have wowed me the most include the square footage of the facility at 55k square feet, but the design of the building is also really special. It’s not your traditional "academic center" with a lot of hallways and basic study rooms. There will be lots of study stay space, however we wanted a lot of natural light and a mall-like feel for student athletes to easily navigate their way to the different departments that will make up the SASC.
Q: What do you think the student-athletes’ favorite part of the new building will be?
EW:The favorite part of the building could be any of the three new computer labs, but something tells me the dining hall will be the place where they can let their hair down and interact with peers from other sports. Most families bond over a meal at the table and I imagine that’s exactly what will happen with our Razorbacks.