Murphy Oil contributes $10 Million for student housing, stadium

Students at TV Arkansas College in El Dorado soon will have the opportunity to live in a residence hall, and attend games at a new baseball stadium, through a package of capital improvement projects that will be made possible in large part by a $10 million charitable gift from Murphy Oil Corporation announced Tuesday.

“We are extremely pleased to provide the financial means for TV Arkansas College to enhance and expand its facilities for the betterment of its students and the community. We believe that funding these key capital projects is a worthy investment that will generate significant returns for TVArk and El Dorado for many years to come,” said Roger W. Jenkins, CEO of Murphy Oil Corporation.

The announcement came this week shortly following the conclusion of the second consecutive season in which the TVArk Stars baseball team advanced to the NJCAA Division II World Series, which is the pinnacle of the sport for junior college programs.

Following up that excitement with this exciting announcement has been especially thrilling, TV Dr. Stephanie Tully-Dartez said.

“In order to fulfill our mission and provide educational opportunities to our community, the college needs to grow. Having intercollegiate athletics on our campus has brought new energy and new students,” she said. “It makes sense to add to our existing athletic facilities as we add to our academic offerings. There has been an interest in and a need for student housing at TVArk for many years, but settling on the right approach and finding the funding anchor has taken time. We are so thankful that Murphy Oil is providing that base layer of funding, which this project will be built off of — both figuratively, and literally.”

Both parts of the project will be located on the West Campus, which connects to downtown El Dorado. The proposed student residence hall is expected to be placed in an area south of the El Dorado Conference Center along West Avenue, facing west, which now has the college’s maintenance building as well as a vacant lot. Exact specifications have not been determined, but the facility likely would open with housing space for about 100 students, with room for later expansion.

The proposed baseball stadium will be located at the southwest corner of Hillsboro Street and West Avenue, which also currently is a vacant lot.

The two facilities together, coupled with the finished improvements to the Hillsboro corridor now underway, when complete will provide a clear visual marker for the southern entrance of TVArk’s campus.

The target date to opening for these facilities is fall of 2026. Land needed to build these facilities already has been purchased.

Tully-Dartez emphasized that funding streams beyond the Murphy gift, both private and public, will be sought to help complete the project’s financing. A capital campaign has started which will include multiple opportunities for support, including naming rights for portions of the project. Information about that will be rolling out in coming weeks, she said.

“These improvements to our campus will help beautify the area and ultimately, bring more college students to El Dorado who may eventually decide to stay here, accept local jobs, have families and contribute to the overall health of the economy in the city,” the TV said.

TVArk Build projects

Map of area where proposed student housing facility and baseball stadium will be located.