NPC Board Approves Final Plans, Naming For Redbud Hall

Computer generated graphic by Servitas of a dormitory hall called Redbud Hall for NPC.The National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees approved the final plans and a name for the new on-campus housing facility Wednesday during their regular monthly meeting. Redbud Hall is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025.

Vice president for Administration, Kelli Embry shared that this expansion will include a mix of housing options similar to Dogwood Hall. The location was determined based upon the proximity to Dogwood Hall, which allows for sharing amenities and staff between the two facilities. The new housing facility will be about 45,000 square feet and have approximately 175 beds.

Affordable housing is one NPC students’ greatest challenges and the demand for on-campus housing has far outpaced the availability for the past two years. This past spring, 410 students applied for fall 2023 housing. Dogwood Hall is fully subscribed with 240 beds and currently has a waitlist of more than 85 applicants. The average age of NPC students has trended younger over the past 10 years. Fall 2023 enrollment includes more than 80% under the age of 24.

John McMorran of Lewis Architects Engineers presented the final renderings to the board. He explained how the new building fits into the 25-year master plan and described how the facility will connect to the campus.

The Board also approved a resolution to name the new facility Redbud Hall. The theme of naming residence halls for trees found in Arkansas was selected by a naming committee when planning for Dogwood Hall in 2019. The team said trees represent strength, growth and transformation, all qualities of a National Park College student as well as the campus. Redbud trees, along with Dogwoods, symbolize the arrival of springtime, transformation and renewal.

“I appreciate the Board’s affirmation on the final plans, the naming and the bond issue for Redbud Hall. These are major milestones in the process of adding additional housing on campus. Affordable housing continues to be a significant barrier for NPC students. We have been working toward this goal since 2021, so it is exciting to see it come to fruition,” said Embry.

Board chair, Joyce Craft said, “Housing is clearly important to NPC students and, in my opinion, has changed the dynamic of this campus in many positive ways. I am excited to see what comes next with the addition of Redbud Hall.”

NPC president, John Hogan shared how on-campus housing creates community and helps students be more successful. He added, ““We have done a lot in the last 10 years together at NPC, but I cannot think of a more profound impact on NPC students’ experience than the addition of residence life. I appreciate the Board’s support of this effort.”