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Five of Arkansas's largest commercial construction projects in Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Business tallied up $527 million worth of K-12 school construction projects on this year's list.

ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas Business has published its annual list of the state's largest commercial construction projects and 5 of the top 10 are in Northwest Arkansas.

Editor Lance Turner gave some insight about the projects at the top of the list — and another one hitting its stride in Bentonville.

For the second year in a row, the new Walmart headquarters in Bentonville checks in at No. 1, with an estimated cost based on publicly available construction permits of $996.8 million.

This is a list of construction projects underway in 2022, the Walmart's campus continues to take shape thanks to prominent local construction firms like Nabholz Construction of Conway, Fintco LLC of Springdale, and Caddell Construction of Bentonville taking part.

Walmart's scheduled to open that massive 350-acre campus in phases through the year 2025.

School construction is big this year, according to the list. Arkansas Business tallied up $527 million worth of K-12 school construction projects on this year's list — that's up 74% from last year.

The Springdale School District has two in the top 10 — that's additions and renovations to the Central Junior High, worth $53 million, at No. 7 — and to Southwest Junior High, worth $47 million, at No. 9.

These are upgrades to modernize aging facilities.

In all, Springdale has around $140 million worth of construction happening, led by Baldwin & Shell Construction of Little Rock and Flintco in Springdale.

Another project not in the top 10 but is likely to rise in the next year or two is the expansion of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

That project currently ranks No. 22 on the list with building permits valued at $22 million, but the final tally is likely to be several times higher than that.

The museum is aiming to expand by 50% by adding 100,000 square feet. And much of the focus of the work now is to excavate tons of rock from the north end of the 120-acre site.

We talked to museum director Rod Bigelow, who underscored the complexity of the project. They're building in a ravine, trying to divert water, moving heavy equipment in and out — all within yards of priceless works of art and residential neighbors.

In all, when the project wraps in 2026, the museum will have 65% more gallery space and be able to double the amount of students it hosts on field trips every year to 100,000.  

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