John Warner Smith is the second University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate in a row designated Louisiana Poet Laureate.
If you walk across campus and all of sudden feel the ground beneath your feet start to shake, don't worry. You are not experiencing an earthquake. Odds are, you're experiencing growth -- campus growth.
Heavy machinery is jam-packed in just about every open space from Hebrard Boulevard to Lewis Street. Dump trucks, cranes and excavators – all are being used across campus on construction projects totaling $130 million.
From the Student Union to the Varsity Track at the Athletic Complex, numerous campus areas are scheduled for renovation. Some areas like the College of Business Administration and Student Housing will see new construction.
"Campus growth in terms of construction and renovation is definitely at a high," said Bill Crist, Director of Physical Plant. "It seems like anywhere you walk on campus right now, you can run into some type of construction. These sites are all signs of progress."
Here's what's happening.
IT'S ALL BUSINESS
A new $9.5 million addition to F.G. Mouton Hall is being constructed for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. Here’s the details:
• Three-story facility that will sit between Martin Hall and Hebrard Boulevard.
• Will be connected to F.G. Mouton Hall via two walkways.
• Classrooms will be on the ground floor of the new building along with a 220-seat auditorium which can be divided in half for smaller gatherings.
• Seminar rooms will accommodate the latest technology.
• Second and third floors will house faculty and administrative offices along with conference rooms.
Once the new building is complete, F. G. Mouton Hall is set for renovation from top to bottom.
SHOW GOES ON
Burke-Hawthorne Hall will be seeing some improvements soon. Here’s the details:
• More than 30,000 square-foot addition.
• Home to the Burke Hall Theater, KRVS radio station and several departments including Communication, Performing Arts and Communicative Disorders.
• Construction of a two-story wing to be built between Burke-Hawthorne and Judice halls.
• A one-story wing will be added to the backstage area of the theater.
• Total project cost is $9 million.
TECHNOLOGY MOVING FORWARD
University Research Park will be home to the Acadiana Technology Immersion Center. Details:
• World-class facility that is expected to attract high-tech businesses to Lafayette.
• $18-million center includes 70,000 square feet.
• Will feature a six-sided "cave" for three-dimensional data visualization.
Currently, there are less than 10 such public facilities in the world. Construction is expected to take two years. UL Lafayette is in partnership with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority on this project.
NEW DIGS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE
Construction of a new three-story building for the Computer Science Department and the Center for Advanced Computer Studies is expected to begin next year. Here’s the details:
• Will be located where McNapsy Stadium used to be located.
• Each floor will include 15,000 square feet for classrooms, auditoriums, conference rooms and more. Currently, both the Computer Science Department and CACS are cramped into the Conference Center.
• Construction costs are expected to be $7.5 million.
RUNNING AND WORKING IT OUT
The current varsity track at the Athletic Complex and the weight room at Bourgeois Hall will both see some changes soon. Details:
• The track is set for complete removal while 20,000 square feet will be added to the weight room .
• A different configuration will be laid for the track with a soccer field to be constructed in the middle. Soccer is played at Cajun Field currently.
• The addition to the current weight room will allow for more equipment.
• Construction costs -- for the track project, $1.4 million, and for the weight room addition, $2.93 million.
Parking around campus will ease a bit when a new parking garage is constructed near Earl K. Long gym. Details:
• Will include at least 500 parking spaces.
• Students voted in 2002 to increase fees to cover the costs of construction along with other improvements to the parking and transit system on campus. A 70 percent majority approved a referendum that assesses full-time students a new $25 fee per fall and spring semesters.
• Costs total $4.98 million.
The New Iberia Research Center, which houses more than 6,000 non-human primates, will be a bit roomier after additional square footage is added to the facility. Details:
• Addition of approximately 8,500 square feet for adult chimpanzees and 14,000 to 18,000 square feet of outdoor exercise space.
• Renovation of nearly 10,000 square feet to provide large indoor/outdoor living areas for maturing animals.
• The Center houses non-human primates representing 10 species. It provides resources for basic and applied research aimed at solving human health problems. It is one of the largest non-human primate colonies in the world.
• Renovation costs are estimated at $7.3 million.
Enhancements to the world-class Marine Survival Training Center are set to start soon. Details:
• Construction of a swimming pool in a covered facility with restrooms and changing rooms.
• Costs for the enhancements are $750,000.
Aside from survival craft training and underwater helicopter egress training, the Center also includes training for marine fire safety and much more. Its’ mission is to provide the best marine safety training in the world by using state-of-the-art training facilities and experienced motivated instructors while expanding global leadership in research and marine safety education.
Students moved into a new era of housing on campus in September. About 60 students moved into the first building of Legacy Park, an eight-building complex of apartments at the corner of Lewis Street and Girard Park Drive. Details:
• 468-bed co-ed facility.
• Buildings in the complex will be named for dormitories, like McCullough and Voorhies, which were imploded earlier this year to make room for Legacy Park.
• Provides students with apartment-style housing and amenities such as high speed Internet access and cable modem connections in each room.
• Features suites with individual bedrooms joined by shared living and kitchen areas.
• Units include washers and dryers and each bedroom has a private bathroom.
• 468 parking spaces are available for residents.
• Cost for Legacy Park is $15.72 million.
The Student Union on McKinley Street could see some changes in the coming years. Renovation plans are in the preliminary stage but could include the addition of 50,000 square feet.
A needs assessment survey is expected to be conducted with students and the university community before plans are finalized. Cost for the renovation is estimated at $30 million.
A new University Art Museum featuring the latest in security and climate control systems is set to open Dec. 20. Details:
• 30,000 square-foot building which will meet international museum standards.
• New Orleans-based firm Eskew+ designed the facility.
• Funded by bonds that will be repaid with private funds including a lead gift from Lulu and Paul Hilliard of Lafayette.
• Construction cost is $8 million.
Ground was broken in September for a new way of learning for hospitality students. A new Hilton Garden Inn complete with an educational training facility is being constructed at University Research Park. Details:
• 150 rooms with 29 suites.
• Will be located near the corner of West Congress Street and Cajundome Boulevard.
• 3,300 square foot ballroom on the top floor, a 1,300 square foot meeting room, indoor swimming pool, business center and exercise room.
• High speed Internet access will be in all rooms and a free-standing, full service restaurant will be next door.
• More than 2,000 square feet will be dedicated to an educational training facility. This will include space for classroom teaching as well as training with the latest industry technology. Areas for audio, video and training equipment along with offices for teachers and trainers will also be provided.
• Construction of the project is expected to take between 10 and 12 months.
• Construction cost is $15 million.
A percussion wing is being added to Angelle Hall, which houses the Music Department as well as the band. The 2,200 square foot addition is going to be connected to Angelle Hall via a covered walkway.
The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2004 and the cost is $250,000.
WELCOME TO THE FRENCH HOUSE
Enrollment Services is moving out of Martin Hall to its new location at the French House on the corner of Johnston Street and St. Mary Boulevard. The new location will also act as a Visitor's Center.
The house, which was acquired by the university in 1954, was renovated to accommodate the volume of students and parents who are interested in learning more about UL Lafayette. Cost for the renovations is $200,000.