Last year, Monticello was among the state’s cities with the largest building projects under construction. Those projects were completed this year and more are underway.
Drew Memorial Hospital’s expansion and the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Forest Resources Annex were both completed in 2012.
Drew Memorial Hospital’s multi-million dollar expansion was funded through a $12 million low-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, supplemental $500,000 loans from four local banks, and hospital revenue.
The project included the construction of an allied health building and a nursing wing with private inpatient rooms. The 24,000 square-foot allied health building includes a conference and training room, space for occupational and physical therapy, a hematology and oncology clinic, psychology clinic, sleep center, and shell space for future expansion. The project also includes a 24,000 square-foot, 42-bed inpatient nursing wing, and additional parking.
UAM’s new 15,000 square-foot Forest Resources annex was dedicated in October. It houses classrooms, laboratories and offices on two floors. The original 54-year-old building in the Henry H. Chamberlin Forest Resources Complex received a complete interior renovation and a new roof, and the north wing of the complex, completed in 1987, received minor renovations. Spaces included in the new building and the renovated buildings include research labs, teaching labs, computer labs, conference and meeting spaces, offices, classrooms, an administrative suite, information technology suite, student lounge, a two-story glass atrium, and a suite of offices for the U.S. Forest Service.
The city’s downtown revitalization efforts continued to pay off in 2012 when a number of new businesses, including a new Italian restaurant, opened on the town square. One of those new businesses, the Square Cup, has since closed.
There are also a number of new projects underway in Monticello, including a new library, a new fire station, a new surgery center at Drew Memorial Hospital, and the renovation of residence halls at UAM.
The Southeast Arkansas Regional Library’s building committee this year accepted bids on the construction of a new library. The library will be constructed on the former Drew Memorial Hospital site on North Main and funded through a half-cent Drew County sales tax financing a $5.5 million bond issue.
In October, Drew County voters approved a proposal to continue an existing 1.8 mill tax to refinance existing bonds to generate income to build and equip a new surgery center and a power plant at Drew Memorial Hospital.
In November, Monticello city officials broke ground on a new $1.3 million central fire station.
And, in December, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees authorized UAM to proceed with a $8.9 million renovation and construction project that will bring both exterior and interior changes to current residence halls. The two-phases project is slated to begin in February.