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Member Designated Community Project Requests - FY2022

U.S. Representative Steve Womack submitted the following FY 2022 Community Project Funding Member requests to the House Committee on Appropriations in April 2021:

Click each project name to download the Member certification form for each project.

Project Name: Arkansas Tech University – Nursing Enhancement
Request Amount: $664,407
Intended Recipient: Arkansas Tech University
Address of the Intended Recipient: 215 West O St. Russellville, AR 72801
Explanation of the request: This project would support Arkansas Tech University's Nursing program, specifically by investing in new simulation labs for the program. This investment will enhance the school's nursing program (which currently includes a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) Pre-Licensure program, a Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN) to BSN program, and a Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN program) by introducing a new level of high-fidelity simulation to all three current programs. The simulation labs enhancement will include 14 hospital beds, an updated computer lab, simulation debriefing technology enhancements, simulation mannequin accessories/updates a SIM Obstetrical Mom, a Sim Junior, an ASL Lung Ventilator Simulator, a SimLab Radiant Infant Warmer, a Sim baby, a Sim Child, a NurseAnne Simulator, and two-way mirrors necessary for simulations. These new simulator labs are vital for continued nursing education at ATU's Russellville and Ozark campuses, particularly with the limited clinical access nursing programs have seen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the pandemic has clearly shown the necessity of highly skilled health care professionals in all parts of the country, with nurses being among the most highly demanded personnel.

Project Name: Capital Improvements to Camp Jack Veterans Resource Center
Request Amount: $2,280,000
Intended Recipient: City of Harrison
Address of the Intended Recipient: PO Box 1715 Harrison, AR 72602
Explanation of the request: Capital improvements to the Jack Williams Veterans Resource Center or "Camp Jack". The Camp Jack facility is owned by the City of Harrison, Arkansas and leased to the Jack Williams Veterans Resource Center, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, for $1 per year. Camp Jack is named for Medal of Honor recipient and Harrison native Pharmacist Mate Third Class Jack Williams. It will provide a one-stop assistance center for veterans and their families in five low-income counties in northern Arkansas. This assistance will include VA Claim Assistance, state/local Veteran Service Coordinator workspace, veteran advocacy services, a food & clothing bank, employment assistance workshops, veteran support groups, and much more. This project has the support of the local American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars' posts, as well as the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, North Arkansas College, Harrison Public Schools, the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce, Explore Harrison, the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, the local Arkansas State Representative (Rep. Ron McNair District 98), Boone County Judge Robert Hathaway and the City of Jaspar, Arkansas. The local VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) staff also supports the project. Camp Jack is housed in the former Harrison, Arkansas National Guard Armory which is a 16,000 sq. ft. facility built in 1942. The proposed capital improvements include: site improvements (parking, driveway, and park pavilion), interior demolition, exterior windows and doors, new HVAC system, electrical and plumbing system upgrade, roof replacement, and exterior brick repair. The contracted architect projects a project length of 6-8 months following contract award.

Project Name: Fayetteville Supporting Lifelong Success (SLS) Community Infrastructure
Request Amount: $15,000,000
Intended Recipient: City of Fayetteville
Address of the Intended Recipient: 113 W. Mountain St. Fayetteville, AR 72701
Explanation of the request: The request is specifically for cost of infrastructure – streets, sewer, water, electricity, lighting, sidewalks, traffic safety devices and signage next to a 230-acre mixed use site that will support the SLS Community, a nonprofit project that aims to improve access to care, research, and quality of life improvements for neurodiverse individuals. Along with residential housing that will be tailored for neurodiverse adults, there will be employment training, clinic providing access to primary and specialty care for neurodiverse adults and academic programing for educating the next generation of health professionals. The site will be built on a social enterprise model to increase the potential economic impact, allowing businesses on the property to employ the residents and a portion of the revenues from the businesses will be returned to the SLS nonprofit to support with the mission. The community will also collaborate with the Psychiatric Research Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Services (UAMS) to create a center that will align critical care with the university's research capabilities, in the expectation of creating a leading medical research area that will attract talent focused on the health and wellbeing of neurodiverse adults. The land for the SLS Community is in an area that does not have access to needed facilities like utilities and roads. The city of Fayetteville believes in this project and plans to build the needed infrastructure, Mayor Jordan plans to bring a request to the Fayetteville City Council to fund $2,000,000 toward this $17,000,000 infrastructure project.

Project Name: I-49 Expansion from Arkansas Highway 22 to I-40 Segment 1 Project Development
Request Amount: $25,000,000
Intended Recipient: Arkansas Department of Transportation
Address of the Intended Recipient: 10324 Interstate 30 Little Rock, AR 72209
Explanation of the request: This project supports the development and design of the expansion of the Western Arkansas section of I-49 from Arkansas Highway 22 to I-40 in Alma, Arkansas. This Segment 1 project runs from Arkansas Highway 22 in Barling, Arkansas (located in Sebastian County), bridges the Arkansas River, to Gun Club Road in Crawford County. The total cost for Segment 1 is $271,393,398; this project development portion request is for $25,000,000 to complete preliminary design for a two-lane facility from Hwy. 22 to I-40. The project is currently under initial project development work and this requested investment will ensure the final design and development moves forward expeditiously. This project is vital to continued economic development and expansion of the Ft. Smith/Western Arkansas area. This project is the first step to linking Western Arkansas with the I-49 corridor and, thus, having an uninterrupted Interstate Highway from Winnipeg, Canada, through the central United States to New Orleans. Connecting I-40 in Alma to Ft. Smith is vital to supporting the second largest city in Arkansas and further opening up important commerce and transit routes. Bridging the Arkansas River is the most challenging (engineering-wise and economically) portion of the I-49 expansion project and this funding will support final, detailed design for that section. The State of Arkansas and her citizens have made a strong commitment to this project through the recently passed Arkansas Ballot Issue 1 (which extends the current statewide 1% sales tax in perpetuity). Following the passage of that ballot issue, the Arkansas Department of Transportation programmed $270,000,000 for the whole I-49 expansion project (all three segments). This request project will leverage that significant state investment and ensure the project delivers on its economic promise.

Project Name: PEAK Innovation Center – Career Connections Curriculum
Request Amount: $385,000
Intended Recipient: Fort Smith School District
Address of the Intended Recipient: 3205 Jenny Lind Rd. Fort Smith, AR 72901
Explanation of the request: The PEAK Innovation Center, opening in August 2021, operates as the flagship of Western Arkansas’ top- to-bottom rethinking of Career and Technical Education (CTE). It will be operated as a Fort Smith Public Schools owned facility, primarily house programs taught by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS) and be available to students from 22 regional school districts representing over 43,000 total students. At PEAK, students from these districts will be exposed to non-college/university career clusters and will have the opportunity to earn technical concurrent credit and industry recognized certifications in three primary career pathways. In off-hours and during the summer months, the Peak Innovation Center will be leveraged for adult/incumbent worker training and skills upgrade, industrial training, and other community uses. The Career Connections Program at the PEAK Innovation Center will provide students the opportunity to be exposed to career clusters in their middle school years. This request supports the curriculum for three units; Design and Modeling, Automation/Robotics, and Medical Detectives. The Career Connections Program will expose 6-8th grade students to career clusters and will also serve as an economic driver for the western Arkansas area by ensuring there area middle school students are aware of technical career pathways so in the future they can take advantage of PEAK's concurrent certification and credit offerings.

Project Name: XNA ADA Compliance Lobby Renovation/Skybridge Project
Request Amount: $31,487,307
Intended Recipient: Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA)
Address of the Intended Recipient: One Airport Blvd., Ste. #100,  Bentonville AR,  72713
Explanation of the request: This project supports Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) planned renovation of their lobby to ensure continued ADA compliance by adding redundant elevators and escalators, along with other traffic management and throughput upgrades. The project also includes a bridge from the existing parking structure, over the existing two-lane airport drop-off/pick-up road, into the main terminal building. This bridge would allow passengers who are not checking a bag to proceed directly to TSA security checkpoint and further improve groundside throughput. XNA's current terminal configuration is a two level structure with ground entrance, ticketing, baggage claim, and rental-car services located on the ground level and the TSA checkpoint, along with the airport gates, on the second level. The current action plan when the single elevator is out of service or requires maintenance is to bring people requiring ADA accommodation out the terminal building, around the building onto the tarmac into a side door to access the second level (past the security checkpoint) and then back towards the security checkpoint for screening. All of this must be done with a badged, airport employee for each person to follow security protocols. This project is projected to cost $31,487,307 and will ensure ADA compliance while also providing groundside throughput improvements and more ease of access for XNA users.