by Max Brantley
Open the link below and you'll see the University of Arkansas athletic facilities expansion plan prepared by the Populous architecture firm. My six-day-old FOI for this report was fulfilled 31 minutes before a news conference at which it was announced to the world.
There's a stadium expansion, a new football operations center, a new Razorback walk — all kinds of stuff. Read and report. Warning: It's huge, a 22MB file.
On the jump is an explanation from Associate Athletic Director Kevin Trainor of other information provided to me (also included in the file linked above) as a result of my FOI, along with the facilities plan. Note that the UA is withholding some information, for putative competitive reasons, about architecture fees for the project. I've asked if this is only during the design and bidding phase or for all time. It's hard for me to see a harm to the university in revealing the cost of a project after it is completed. It is the only way for the public to be sure its money was handled wisely. UPDATE: Trainor says the price will be disclosed after negotiations are completed.
The football operations center is a $24 million project and the Reynolds Foundation has pledged $10 million (which is why people associated with it get to walk through the big A before the football game.)
EMAIL FROM KEVIN TRAINOR
In response to your FOIA request (please see below), attached please find the following responsive records:
● An e-mail from Matt Trantham to Chancellor G. David Gearhart and Vice Chancellor Donald O. Pederson dated July 1, 2010; and
● An e-mail from Chancellor Gearhart to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long dated June 30 2010; and
● An e-mail from Jeff Long to Chancellor Gearhart with copies to Dr. Pederson and Mr. Trantham dated June 30, 2010; and
● The preliminary drawings relating to the proposed University of Arkansas Football Center (a total of 15 pages) that were created prior to the receipt of your FOIA request; and
● An additional six (6) pages of preliminary drawings relating to the proposed Football Center that were created after the receipt of your FOIA request; and
● An email from Ryan Sickman of Populous to Daniel A. Street and various other individuals dated October 20, 2010.
● Mr. Sickman’s October 20, 2010 email also includes a proposed architectural/engineering fee breakdown schedule which is attached. Please note that the proposed fees have been redacted pursuant to the competitive advantage exemption under FOIA. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(9)(A). See Arkansas Dep’t Fin. & Admin. v. Pharmacy Assocs., Inc., 333 Ark. 451, 90 S.W.2d 217 (1998). The University and Populous each respectively invoke the competitive exemption. Again, the University has not reached a final agreement with Populous with regard to this work.
● A proposed Letter of Agreement (with Exhibits A, B and C) dated October 20, 2010, from Mr. Sickman (please note that the Letter of Agreement has not been signed or accepted by the University). Please note further that portions of Exhibits B and C are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the competitive advantage exemption under FOIA. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(9)(A). See Arkansas Dep’t Fin. & Admin. v. Pharmacy Assocs., Inc., 333 Ark. 451, 90 S.W.2d 217 (1998). The University and Populous each respectively invoke the competitive exemption.
As a matter of courtesy, I am also attaching a copy of the press release the University plans to issue later this afternoon at the conclusion of our scheduled press conference.
Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions regarding this response.