Student fees help pay for improvements
LAFAYETTE — As the major revamp of the Student Union continues, another University of Louisiana at Lafayette student hangout spot is getting a face-lift of its own.
Renovations have started on the campus’ quadrangle to install a foundation, plaza, and new walkways and landscaping.
Work to relocate utility lines for the project should end in February, and the updates will continue through the summer, said William Crist, the university’s facilities director.
Part of the project involves a makeover for the Walk of Honor — brick pavers around the quad etched with the names of alumni. Installation of new bricks for graduates in the years 1991 through 2003 will begin in the summer and continue through mid-August, Crist said.
The project is part of the university’s master plan, a road map for future growth of the main campus and its other properties. The plan was developed with input from students, faculty, staff and the community.
Last year, students approved a master plan fee — capped at $112.50 — to pay for such master plan projects as the quad renovation.
“It’s an exciting time because we’re really part of a major reshaping of the campus,” Crist said. “It’s exciting to go through the master plan process, and all these projects are related to the university’s master plan. We’re getting to see the plan take life right from the start.”
Other work on campus includes upgrading athletic facilities and a new parking garage — both funded by either dedicated student fees or university revenues.
The $36 million Student Union project is being funded by dedicated student fees. The renovation and 30,000-square-foot expansion is on track for a December 2014 completion date, Crist said.
Last week, work continued on the building’s exterior walls and the installation of mechanical duct work and equipment.
Meanwhile across campus, noisy demolition work to prepare for the $3.8 million renovation of Fletcher Hall should be completed before faculty and students return from the Christmas break, Crist said.
The work to repair extensive water damage to the building and build a 20,000-square-foot expansion for more instructional space on the building’s second floor is expected to be complete by December 2014, Crist said.
The Fletcher Hall project received state funding and has been a need for the university for the past few years. In 2009, the university received state funds to make emergency repairs to address safety hazards created by the water intrusion.
The building houses College of the Arts programs.