The Razorback Foundation today officially announced the donation of 256 acres received from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last month.
Washington County property records indicate that Jones purchased the land on Dec. 30 for about $7.3 million. He then deeded the land to the Razorback Foundation.
The land is adjacent to a planned 200-acre park just off Cato Springs Road in Fayetteville. The property previously belonged to Chambers Bank, whose president and CEO John Ed Chambers III is Jones’ brother-in-law. The bank acquired it in lieu of foreclosure in 2010 after John Nock, Richard Alexander, Hank Broyles and Steve Aust’s planned Southpass Development never came to pass.
According to the foundation, the property was independently appraised in March 2014 at a value of $8.65 million.
Jones, who played for the Razorbacks under former head coach Frank Broyles and was a member of the 1964 National Championship football team, also donated about $2 million in cash to the program to be paid over the next five years for a total gift of $10.65 million.
According to a press release issued this morning, the money will help support the soon-to-be-completed Student-Athlete Success Center, a new “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument to establish a permanent tribute to the 1964 team, and a football locker room.
In appreciation, the UA Board of Trustees are recommending naming the new facility the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center.
“We are grateful to the Jones family for their extraordinary gift which will directly benefit the development of Razorback student-athletes for many years to come,” said UA Athletics Director Jeff Long. “It is only fitting that the Jones family, which is committed to the ideals of higher education and has been so deeply intertwined with the University of Arkansas for decades, is an integral part of the most impactful intercollegiate athletics’ facility we will have on campus.”
The Student-Athlete Success Center will include academic advising and course preparation resources to Razorback student-athletes, leadership training through the Razorback Leadership Academy, career planning and service learning.
The facility is being constructed at the corner of Meadow Street and Stadium Drive between Pomfret Hall and John McDonnell Field, and is targeted for completion in late summer/early fall 2015.
The approximate 55,000-square-foot facility will include tutor rooms, 5,000 square feet of open study and lounge space, 3,800 square feet of computer and group lab space, a 125-seat auditorium, 90-seat multi-purpose room, a nutrition center with a full-service kitchen, a wellness wing for a sports psychologist and dietitians as well as areas specific to Student-Athlete Development and Accelerated Learning.
The “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument will consist of six Razorbacks, accented by custom lighting and water features. The bronze monument will be placed along Razorback Road on the northwest corner of the lawn of the Fred W. Smith Football Center, just south of Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The full monument will be approximately 20 feet high and 30 feet wide, with six-foot-tall bronze Razorbacks.
The sculpture was designed by artist Dick Idol, who called it “the finest and most spectacular mascot based sculpture in North America.”
The Razorback Foundation, a separate and self-supporting nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity, serves as the fundraising arm of the University of Arkansas Athletic Department.
At this time, the foundation says they have no immediate plans for use of the land they received from Jones.