The State of Louisiana, on behalf of Nicholls State University, reached an agreement on Wednesday with Acadia Agricultural Holdings LLC to purchase approximately 57 acres of land to the east of campus. As part of this transaction, Acadia donated an additional 17 acres for a total transaction of approximately 74 acres.
After a day of negotiations with a mediator and representatives of the state, Acadia and the university, the parties agreed to a purchase price of $4.5 million for the 57 acres being purchased. "I am delighted by what this means for the future of Nicholls, both for the long-term and for the immediate future," Dr. Stephen Hulbert, university president, said. "This land allows us the space we need to expand, develop and modernize our university."
The first parcel, bordering Highway 1 and Bowie Road, is the planned site of a 39,000-square-foot building for the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. The second parcel, bordering Bowie Road and Ardoyne Drive, will be used in part for a planned student recreation center and recreation fields. The donated third parcel of 17 acres is located to the south of Ardoyne Drive.
"I deeply appreciate the generosity Jake Giardina and Ronald Adams displayed in donating the additional parcel of land," Hulbert said. "The Nicholls campus is in the midst of numerous expansion and renovation projects, and this land will help to meet the future needs of our students, faculty and staff."
Hulbert added, "I want to also express my appreciation to Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Jerry Luke LeBlanc, the commissioner of administration, and Rep. Warren Triche for their unwavering support throughout the acquisition process."
Hulbert said the agreement allows the university to move forward with the construction of the recreation center, which has already been designed, and with a capital campaign to fund the culinary building. Nicholls students have been paying a fee of $74.25 per semester since 2003 to finance the 63,000-square-foot recreation center.