LAFAYETTE — The final phase of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s new student housing construction is now complete, enabling the university to begin its “neighborhood concept” of housing students together by class level, the university’s housing director said Tuesday.
In the past year, the university has phased in the opening of four new residence halls, Baker and Huger Halls, both located off of Taft Street, and Bonin and Coronna Halls, located in an area of campus known as the “Rose Garden.”
The “Rose Garden,” adjacent to the Student Union will serve as the “freshman neighborhood,” said Lisa Luquette Landry, university housing director.
Student support services will also be housed in the Rose Garden in Randolph Hall, a former residence hall that was renovated to provide students access to a weight room, game room, classrooms and a kitchen, Landry said.
“We’ll have tutors in there for our freshmen and some classes will be offered there. It will be a support building for those 1,000 freshmen,” she said.
The two residence halls located on Taft Street will house sophomores and above, while the university’s on-campus apartment complex, Legacy Park, is reserved for upperclassmen, Landry said.
The housing project enabled the university to increase its bed space while offering students more comfortable and modern options, Landry said. Despite older residence halls on the campus, the university faced a waiting list at the start of school.
As of Tuesday, the only waiting list was for special requests for male private rooms, Landry said.
“I anticipate us being full by the time school starts, but I don’t want to discourage any new applicants because students do change their minds,” she said.
Last fall, the campus had 2,000 beds available. It starts this fall with nearly 3,000 beds, she said.
The $98 million residential project was financed through the university’s third-party nonprofit corporation, Ragin’ Cajun Facilities.
Residence hall advisers, student-athletes and some freshmen orientation campers will move into the Rose Garden dorms this week, while the majority of the new residents will move in Aug. 16, Landry said.
Fall semester classes begin Aug. 20.
The Rose Garden buildings are ready for students but exterior work such as landscaping remains to be done, said William Crist, campus facilities director.
Rainy weather set some of the outdoor work back, Crist said.
“Between now and the time school starts, if we get heavy rains, it’s not going to look completely finished on the outside, but it won’t effect anyone being comfortable or from moving in,” Crist said.
Crews will continue to work to make the renovated residential area “the special place that it is,” Crist said.
“We want it 100 percent when people get there,” he said.