LITTLE ROCK --The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) today celebrated the completion of a new $50 million electrical power plant on the east side of its Little Rock campus.
The plant is a key component of a $150 million energy project that is expected to be finished in late 2022 and result in an estimated $4.8 million in annual savings. The project is being paid for by a bond issue approved in 2019 by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
Standing behind the ribbon as it was cut were Board of Trustees members; local dignitaries; UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA; and UAMS officials involved in the planning and oversight of the project.
In addition to constructing the new power plant, the energy project includes the replacement of the Barton Building exterior and infrastructure as well as an upgrade to campus building control systems, interior and exterior lighting, electrical and mechanical systems. The new electrical generator plant will provide 100% back-up power for the UAMS campus, including the cooling system and research facilities. Currently, the UAMS West Central Energy Plant provides backup power for UAMS inpatient facilities.
The overall energy project is enabling UAMS to address $101 million in maintenance needs and energy efficiency measures. Once completed, UAMS' energy efficiency ranking will be in the top 1% of all academic medical centers in the United States.
The project also included the rerouting and expansion of Pine Street and the ultimate partial closure of Cedar Street in spring 2022. Much of the new street work is done. The city of Little Rock contributed $4.6 million to the projected $10 million cost of relocation and other street improvements.
The team that has worked for the power plant project for the last two years consists of Bernhard, CDI, Clark Contractors, Kirchner Architecture and Clear Energy -- all Arkansas companies.