NPC Hosts Groundbreaking For Redbud Hall

People standing outsitde behind a dirt pile with hardhats and shovels.National Park College (NPC) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for Redbud Hall, the College’s second residence hall. The event preceded the regular monthly Board meeting.

NPC began working toward a plan to increase student housing in 2022 in line with NPC’s 25-year master plan. The facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025.

Redbud Hall 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 facility will contain 176 beds and has a total square footage of 42,000. Together, Dogwood and Redbud Halls will provide 386 beds for students.

NPC President, Dr. John Hogan shared that affordable housing is one NPC students’ greatest challenges. The average age of NPC students has trended younger over the past 10 years. Fall 2023 enrollment included more than 80% under the age of 24. The demand for on-campus housing has far outpaced the availability for the past two years. While Dogwood Hall currently fulfills a portion of that need, it has been oversubscribed since 2022. The College increased the number of beds from 180 to 210 in 2022, and again to 240 in 2023.

Hogan added, “Students continue to express a need for safe, affordable housing and we are responding to that today. The students who live in these halls will have better opportunities for academic success and they will build relationships that last a lifetime. Their experiences here will impact the rest of their lives. We are grateful for your investment in this campus and in the success of our students and community.”

Senior Vice President of Operations for Servitas, David Braden noted that Redbud was an appropriate name for the new residence 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.

“As we break ground for Redbud Hall, remember that every shovelful of dirt represents a student's dream taking root. As we turn the soil today, let's imagine the stories that will unfold within these walls,” said Braden.

NPC Board Chair, Joyce Craft said, “Today, we are breaking ground on a significant investment in the future of our students. May Redbud Hall, like Dogwood Hall, be a place of refuge and comfort for many generations of students to come.”