The United States National Park Service, at a May 2018 meeting, officially listed the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium on the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
In 2014, UA Cossatot acquired the old Lockesburg High School campus from De Queen School District and immediately began securing grant and local funds to restore the gymnasium to its original 1952 condition. These funds include a grant from Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and donations from the Bank of Lockesburg, Lockesburg Alumni Association, and Lockesburg Lions Club.
Dr. Steve Cole, chancellor of UA Cossatot says, “We are incredibly proud to have the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium listed as a National Register landmark.
It took the community and many of our UA Cossatot staff hundreds of hours to bring this building back to its original beauty.”
The gymnasium is now available for community events, as well as college activities. Beginning in fall 2018 the gym will also host the Cossatot Colts basketball program.
Barry Reed, UA Cossatot Director of Lockesburg Operations, explains that being listed on the register does not mean that improvements cannot continue to be made to the structure.
“That is a common misunderstanding about being listed. We will continue to use the building as we choose, and that means great community and college functions will be happening at the historic gymnasium,” says Reed.
The college would like to thank the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program board and staff for providing guidance throughout the registry application process, with special thanks to Callie Williams and Ralph Wilcox.
Now that the gym is listed and in full use, UA Cossatot is completing their next Lockesburg projects –the Old Lockesburg High School building and a new 3,600 square foot welding complex. These will house the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI), which will aid economic development in the area by offering Industrial Maintenance training to secondary and post-secondary students.