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FAYETTEVILLE — A $7.5 million gift from the chairman of an Arkansas timber industry company and his wife will help the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville build a new wood design center.

The gift from John Ed and Isabel Anthony will support the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation.

John Ed Anthony is chairman of Anthony Timberlands, Inc., which is based in Bearden, about 50 miles southwest of Pine Bluff. He said the gift will help promote construction methods such as cross-laminated timber being used to build a UA on-campus residence hall, a project described as the first U.S. student housing project to be built using cross-laminated timber.

UA announced the gift Thursday along with plans to build a $15-million, 50,000-square-foot wood design center in Fayetteville, pending approval from the University of Arkansas board of trustees. The planned five-story structure will be built in what the university is calling its Windgate Art and Design District in south Fayetteville, a few blocks from the main campus.

“The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation will engage one of our state’s key industries and strengthen the relationship the University of Arkansas has with the southern half of our state,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in a statement.'

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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