The front of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff campus. Photo source:

PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a historically black college and university (HBCU) located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is moving forward with changes to their campus.

On July 11, 2016, the university announced that popular food chains Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks will be opening soon on campus with renovations being made to the L.A. Davis Sr., student union to accommodate the franchises and meet the planned opening date of August 18.

Along with upgrades to food services the university is also making renovations to its other campus services such as its historic Larrison Hall, where Pine Bluff Commerical states that the construction will cost $65,000.

Larrison Hall was built in 1950 and has been vacant for more than 20 years. Once the construction has been completed, it is still being decided as to which department will make it their home.

The university is completing renovations to their four-story structure all female dormitory where 144 rooms are being added to the existing building. Creating a courtyard in the middle and will house Residence Life and a police substation.

The university is also working with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department on renovating the U.S. 79 entrance to the campus. UAPB plans to create a pick-up and drop-off point at Caldwell Hall at the front of the campus. And has secured a $450,000 federal highway grant for the project. The university is also working on drainage issues at the front of the campus as well.

According to the Pine Bluff Commerical, in all, the renovations are expected to cost between $3 and $4 million dollars. A finish date has not yet been set.

HCF President and Founder Demetrius Johnson Jr., is an alumni of UAPB and said about the changes: “I love my HBCU. And I adore Dear Mother even more. For the years I have been fussing and not fussing to talk about my alma mater, but fussing to seeing the betterment for the campus and the institution. I am elated about the upcoming changes and commend Dr. Alexander on moving UAPB forward and his heartfelt commitment in enhancing the beautication and services of institution 142-year history. With innovation from the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni , UAPB will continue to soar with the new millennium to preparing the next visionary leaders of tomorrow!”