McNeese construction projects near completion

LAKE CHARLES — Construction and renovation projects totaling more than $50 million are nearing completion at McNeese State University.

Many of projects are set to be open before the fall semester begins.

Funding is from local, state and federal sources, including grants, Federal Emergency Management Agency money, student assessments and private donors, according to Richard Rhoden, the university’s director of facilities and plant operations.

“Phase I of a $2 million project to renovate and reopen the building at the corner of Ryan and McNeese streets has been completed and Phase II could begin sometime this summer,” Rhoden said. “Chosen Hall will be utilized as a ‘one-stop shop’ for incoming freshmen and will house offices for several departments currently located in other buildings on campus.”

Rhoden said this will create more classroom space and provide a facility for prospective students and their families to access offices related to recruiting and admissions.

Construction of Burton Residence Hall is near completion after being severely damaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Work on the three-story, 150-bed building was funded through the resolution of the university’s FEMA settlement money. The residence hall will be open for the fall semester; it has been closed since 2005.

A new, three-level parking garage is being equipped with up-to-date lighting and security systems. The $13.8 million garage will accommodate almost 900 cars and provide a counting system and two-way traffic space.

Plans are set to demolish the vacant married student residence complex adjacent to the Jack V. Doland Field House. A start date for this has not yet been finalized.

Under renovation since 2011, Kaufman Hall will reopen for the fall semester. The Registrar’s Office, located in the Business Conference Center, will move back into Kaufman Hall after the spring semester. Administrative and faculty offices for the College of Liberal Arts are also expected to move back in during the summer.

Frazar Memorial Library is undergoing a 22 to 24 month renovation with new lighting, flooring, elevator repairs and painting. It will remain in its temporary location in Parra Ballroom until the work is complete.

The Southwest Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center will be set for occupancy by summer. The facility was created to support businesses and economic development.

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