Nicholls State University officials are considering alternative sites for the planned student recreation center and a future Chef John Folse Culinary Institute building in the event the university is unable to secure the desired property east of Bowie Road and the campus.
“We are still hopeful that we will be able to purchase the property, but it’s a necessary precaution to make contingency plans and thereby protect the university and its students,” Michael Davis, Nicholls assistant vice president for administration, said.
The university had hoped to locate a 39,000-square-foot culinary building along Highway 1 to the east of campus in order to give high visibility to what is one of the institution’s fastest-growing programs and to highlight the attractive building planned, Davis said.
If that land is unavailable, then the university is considering the grassy area at the corner of Highway 1 and Audubon Drive to house the culinary institute.
Contingency plans call for the 63,000-square-foot recreation center, which is being funded by student fees, to occupy land along Ardoyne Drive and Bowie Road. Alternate locations on the main campus include the football practice field and the land currently occupied by four residence halls slated for demolition in 2008.
Davis said the university has three criteria to consider when selecting a potential site for the recreation center: close proximity to the residence halls so students can walk to the building, easy access to off-campus visitors and sufficient land to allow for the relocation of intramural sports fields near the recreation center.
The Nicholls campus is in the midst of the largest transformation in more than 20 years. The university will begin construction in the fall on three new residence halls and a convenience store, and renovations are planned for Beauregard Hall and Calecas and Ellender residence halls. Renovations in the student union, cafeteria and bookstore are expected to be completed before the university’s reopening in August.
Contact: Renee Piper