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Nicholls honored for architectural excellence

The architectural renovation of the Vernon F. Galliano Hall at Nicholls State University was featured in American School and University magazine’s 2009 Architectural Portfolio – and is currently featured on the portfolio’s Web site at www.SchoolDesigns.com.

The Architectural Portfolio is an annual competition spotlighting architectural projects that represent America’s most effective learning environments. A selection jury, including members of the American Institute of Architects, chose approximately 180 projects from throughout the nation to be profiled in 2009. Judges based their selections on specific architectural criteria, including functionality, sustainability, compliance with stated goals and conduciveness to learning – all of which Nicholls met.

“The Vernon F. Galliano Cafeteria project is a key element of our master plan to improve campus facilities and services.  It serves as a showcase for recruitment and development activities.  We are proud that Nicholls State offers a dining experience second to none in higher education,” Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president, said.

Spearheaded by Blitch Knevel Architects, with cafeteria furniture provided by Sauder, the Galliano Hall renovation updated the original 1964 design. Nicholls administrators and students mandated that the dining and servery areas be attractive, modern and functional. Enhancements included interactive flat-screen monitors for menus; noise control features; convenient food stations with diverse selections; improved accessibility; and a refurbished, redesigned kitchen.

After Hurricane Katrina, Nicholls administrators had mandated a kitchen that could operate on limited utilities and backup power during a prolonged emergency. The design team’s efforts proved beneficial when Nicholls was hit by Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The university lost power for a week, but staff were still able to provide food and ice to maintenance workers and police – as well as 1,500 meals to community food-distribution centers.

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