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NERREC will be a public-private partnership

The Northeast Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, which is under construction, will have ample opportunities for a corporate presence.

Few public structures are being built these days without corporate sponsorships. The Northeast Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, which is under construction in Poinsett County, will have ample opportunities for a corporate presence.

“As we go through these interior photographs, you’ll see we had the architects put donor 1 through 12 or 13 on the renderings,” said Tim Burcham, director of the NERREC. “This will be a public-private partnership.

Burcham, who gave a presentation on the new NERREC at the Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference in Jonesboro, Ark., at the end of January, said the project sponsors – the University of Arkansas System of Agriculture and the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board – are seeking a naming opportunity for the entire facility.

“That’s something that has to go to the board of trustees, of course, but I, Chuck Coulter and our administrative team are working in that direction,” Burcham noted.

The silo structures that are a design feature of the main NERREC building will help with the center’s educational focus, according to Burcham, who was dean of the College of Agriculture and Technology at Arkansas State University.

“Looking back to the north side, you can see those silo concepts have a window on one side, but if you come in on the other side, it would look like it was an actual silo,” he noted. “As we transition into the first dome, you’ll see there’s a stairwell going up just like in a lighthouse. That goes out to an overlook that will allow students to view the farm.”

For updates, follow the NERREC on Twitter @NEArkRice.

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