THIBODAUX, LA â€“ Nicholls State University President Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert led the University community, Thursday, Oct. 4, in breaking ground for three new state-of-the-art residence halls.
â€œBuilding modern new residence halls is tangible evidence of our long-term commitment to better serve and enhance the academic, recreational and residential needs of our students, now and in the years to come,â€ Hulbert said.
Each of the new, three-floor residence halls will average 57,700-square-feet and will feature suite-style, two-bedroom units in which each resident will have an individual, furnished bedroom space and every two residents will share a bathroom. The new residence halls will have a residence hall directorâ€™s apartment and an average of 200 beds in each building, providing state-of-the-art, modern housing for a total of approximately 600 Nicholls students. Amenities in each unit will include high-speed, wireless Internet access, telephone connections, ceiling fans and microwaves and mini-refrigerators. Building amenities will include a computer lab; study, meeting, media and television rooms; game room with pool and foosball tables; laundry facilities; snack bar; elevators; outdoor seating and barbeque areas; and custom landscaping.
Plans call for completing the approximately $24.4 million project in August 2008. Two of the halls will be located on Bowie Road next to the La Maison du Bayou housing complex and the universityâ€™s tennis courts, and one hall will be located between Vernon F. Galliano Hall and Audubon Avenue.
The university is working with Collegiate Development Services (CDS, www.collegiate-dev.com), one of the nationâ€™s leading firms specializing in turn-key real estate services with a special expertise in the student housing for colleges and universities, to develop, design and construct the project. CDS team members, who have developed, constructed and/or managed more than 100 college/university development projects nationwide, are committed to creating high-quality, innovative living and learning environments that reflect each schoolâ€™s specific needs. Established in 2001, the Irving, Texas-based company is growing rapidly and ranks as the largest Hispanic-owned firm serving this market.
CDS Founder and President Rafael Figueroa said, â€œCollegiate Development Services is proud to be working on our second major, on-campus student housing development for Nicholls State University. Like the La Maison du Bayou apartment housing complex CDS developed in 2004, the new residence halls will feature a full complement of amenities and innovative layouts designed to support studentsâ€™ academic and social growth.â€
Other project partners include Collegiate Contracting Services as general contractor, Hensley Lamkin Rachel, Inc. as architect of record, T. Baker Smith as engineering firm and Morgan Keegan as financial underwriter.
Upon completion of the three new residence halls, Meade, Long, Millet and Zeringue residence halls will be demolished, and Calecas and Ellender halls will undergo extensive renovations. Calecas will no longer be used solely as a residence hall, but will become home to the university police department and overflow housing. The number of beds will be reduced in Ellender to make room office space.
The new and renovated facilities are expected to be more appealing to both students and parents, providing greater technology access, larger living accommodations, more privacy in bathrooms, modern furnishings and other amenities.
Dr. Eugene A. Dial, Jr., vice president for Student Affairs at Nicholls, said the new residential housing is part of the universityâ€™s plan to recruit and retain students, a process that also includes the recent renovation of campus food services and the construction of a new recreation center. â€œThe new housing will bring more students back to the Nicholls campus to participate in campus events and become active partners in the campus community,â€ Dial said.