Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3

The institution operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities. (Physical facilities)

X Compliance  ___ Partial Compliance  ___Non-Compliance



For the purposes of this standard, adequate physical facilities are those of sufficient size in kind and in quality to meet the requirements of the educational institution, as well as those of professional organizations that accredit or certify the University’s educational programs.  In addition, the University’s physical facilities provide an attractive, comfortable learning environment that draws students, faculty, and staff to the institution.

Nicholls State University’s Physical Facilities

The main campus of the University, consisting of approximately 287 acres, is located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, on Bayou Lafourche, approximately 50 miles southwest of New Orleans and 60 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. The city of Thibodaux is located on Bayou Lafourche at the intersection of Louisiana Highways 20 and 1.

The University has a strategic planning process for facilities.  Addressing facility needs is an important aspect of that planning process, which culminated in the development of the Facilities Master Plan [1] in 1997.  This plan provides an in-depth analysis of facilities and ranks goals and objectives.  The creation of this Facilities Master Plan was a team effort among the University’s faculty, staff, and community.  This plan provides the basis for the University’s capital outlay requests and may be adapted in response to changes that arise through the strategic planning process.  Due to the collaborative effort, the University has been successful over the years in obtaining funding for capital outlay projects on campus.  Table 1 lists capital outlay projects initiated at the University since 2006.

Table 1:  Capital Outlay Projects 2006 – 2014
Date Project Approximate Cost Additional Square Footage/Acreage Renovated Square Footage Status
2007 Land Acquisition $4,500,000.00 76 acres Complete
2010 Beauregard Hall Renovation $14,900,000.00 52,000 sq. ft. Complete
2011 Electrical Upgrade, Phase III $1,700,000.00 Complete
2011 Beauregard Hall Patio Addition $199,600.00 Complete
2013 Baseball Dugout Renovation $149,900.00 Complete
2014 Culinary Arts Instruction Building *$12,500,000.00 32,000 sq. ft. Complete
2014 Talbot Hall Renovation & Roof Replacement *$6,700,000.00 23,500 sq. ft. In construction
2014 Didier Field Pressbox Renovation $668,000.00 1,200 sq. ft. In construction
2014 Stopher Gym Men’s Basketball Locker Room Renovation *$530,000.00 6,385 sq. ft. Complete
2015 Fieldhouse, Planning & Construction $3,584,860 5,400 sq. ft.

* Includes both State and private funding.

As a result of the above project(s), the University owns approximately 1,104,798 gross square feet.  Assignable square footage is listed below by space type, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Assignable Square Footage by Space Type
Location of Space Assignable Square Footage
Classroom Facilities 104,346
Laboratory Facilities 135,350
Office Facilities 130,674
Study Facilities 96,839
Special Use Facilities 197,719
General Use Facilities 91,159
Supporting Facilities 7,407
Medical Care Facilities 1,653
Residential Facilities 292,701
Unclassified Facilities 9,550
Total Assignable Square Footage 1,067,398

Data on Louisiana’s university facilities is managed by the Louisiana Board of Regents, and information on all state universities, including Nicholls, can be found in the Board of Regent’s  “2014 Facilities Buildings, Rooms and Class Utilization Edits by Institution” report [1], available on its website.  The Louisiana Office of Facility Planning and Control [2] also maintains data on all buildings in the state, including universities [3].

In addition to the properties described above, Nicholls owns the following off-campus facilities which assist in serving the needs of the University’s educational programs, support services, and mission-related activities:

  • Theodore L. Duhe Building [4]

Located in Houma, Louisiana, the facility was constructed in 2001, and is one of two (2) sites that host the College of Business Administration & EMBA program.  This 27,173 square-foot facility also houses The Duhe Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education, which supports the local communities. The facility contains ample office space and an auditorium.

  • Nicholls Folk Art Center and Sculpture Garden [5]

Located in Chauvin, Louisiana, this site is the home of the Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden.  The mission of the Folk Art Center is to educate the public on the value of folk art and its importance in the world of visual arts.  The center displays the works of contemporary artists in its 1,000 square-foot exhibition space.  The center also houses a functioning darkroom and ceramic kiln area.

  • Nicholls Farm [6]

Located on Highway 1 at Lafourche Crossing, the University maintains a 277 acre farm for instructional and research purposes.  The Nicholls farm is currently used to produce Louisiana native plants for restoration and conservation activities; to train students in proper plant propagation techniques; as a field laboratory for undergraduate and graduate courses; and as a field site for undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research projects.  The sugar laboratory building is used as a field-based classroom for undergraduate and graduate courses.  Faculty also uses the farm for collaborative projects with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Bayouland Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Louisiana Native Plant Initiative.

Deferred Maintenance

The University’s Department of Physical Plant Operations runs and maintains a work control system.  Items identified as needing repair that cannot be completed in a timely manner are included on a deferred maintenance list.  The University is required, as part of its capital outlay request reports, to submit a comprehensive list of deferred maintenance needs, which the State currently defines as ADA code improvements, major repairs, and re-roofing.  Management in the Office of Physical Plant Operations meets quarterly to review this list and evaluate priorities.  In 2008, the University received $4,600,000.00 in State funding to be used solely on deferred maintenance projects.  Table 3 lists the projects completed with that funding.

Table 3:  Funding for Deferred Maintenance Activity 2005 – 2014
Project Cost Justification for Project
Ellender Memorial Library – Entrance Repairs $320,000.00 ADA Upgrade, Safety Concern
Peltier Hall – ADA Restroom Repairs $385,000.00 ADA Upgrade
Talbot Hall – Passenger Lift Replacement $610,000.00 Safety Concern, ADA Upgrade
Gouaux Hall – HVAC Replacement $1,600,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Stopher Gymnasium – Replacement of Heaters $35,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Peltier, Powell/White, Elkins, Talbot Halls – Fire Alarm Upgrades $425,000.00 Code Issue, Safety, Fire Marshal Inspection
Maintenance Department – Emergency Generator $50,000.00 Maintenance Operations, Safety Concern
White & Barker Halls – Replacement of Heating Boilers $150,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Picciola Hall – HVAC Replacement $240,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Polk Hall – Replacement of Heating Boilers & Pumps $95,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Peltier Hall – Replacement of Interior & Exterior Stairwell Doors $100,000.00 Safety Concern, ADA Upgrade
Stopher Gymnasium – Replacement of Doors $140,000.00 Safety Concern, ADA Upgrade
Polk Hall & Shaver Gymnasium – Replacement of Sanitary Pipe $325,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure
Family and Consumer Science Building – Replacement of Air Handler $125,000.00 Aged Equipment, Imminent Failure

In addition to the above funding, the State of Louisiana, through the Board of Regents, completed an assessment of all buildings on state college and university campuses.  The assessment focused on site and building weaknesses; HVAC; and plumbing, electrical, safety, and fire alarm improvements.  This assessment assists the University in determining future deferred maintenance needs.

In addition to state funding for deferred maintenance, the University has funded facility renovations in an effort to improve the aesthetics and learning environment for its students, as demonstrated in Table 4:

Table 4:  University Funding Facility Renovations
Project Cost Justification for Project
Fire Marshal Upgrades $90,000.00 Fire Marshal Inspection
University College Renovation $79,473.00 Academic Driven
Stopher Gymnasuim Bleacher Replacement $82,207.00 Safety Concern, ADA Upgrade
Gouaux Hall Painting & Carpet Replacement $90,000.00 Safety Concern
Gouaux Hall Classroom Soundproofing $8,642.00 Academic Driven
Powell Hall Restroom Renovations $9,500.00 ADA Upgrade
Geospatial & Math Lab Renovations $40,550.00 Academic Driven
Powell/White Halls Replacement of Doors $26,220.00 ADA Upgrade
Biology Greenhouse Renovations $17,950.00 Academic Driven
Talbot Hall Art Department Renovations, Phase I $75,000.00 Academic Driven
Call Pilot Voice Mail System $98,000.00 Technology Upgrade
Peltier Hall Computer Center Upgrade $128,000.00 Technology Upgrade
Ellender Library Classroom Renovation $30,000.00 Academic Driven
Gouaux Hall Petroleum Service Renovation $45,000.00 Academic Driven
Shaver Gymnasium Tutorial Center Renovation $8,000.00 Academic Driven
Talbot Hall Art Department Renovation, Phase II $124,520.00 Academic Driven
Ellender Memorial Library, AIR Renovation $150,000.00 Facility Upgrade
Ayo Hall Classroom Renovation $45,000.00 Academic Driven
Automatic Door Installation, Campus Wide $50,000.00 ADA Upgrade
Peltier Hall Renovation, Phase I $526,634.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Hall Student Engagement Center $88,130.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Hall Relocation of Tutorial Studies $65,000.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Hall Computer Center HVAC Upgrade $18,288.00 Technology Upgrade
Talbot Hall Lighting Control System $3,800.00 Safety Concern
Talbot Hall Card Reader System $16,000.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Auditorium Renovation, Phase IIB $140,000.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Auditorium Renovation, Phase IIA $319,657.00 Academic Driven
ADA Corrective Action, Campus Wide $100,000.00 ADA Upgrade
Powell Hall Auditorium Renovation $312,415.00 Academic Driven
Gouaux Hall, Machine Shop Renovation $129,000.00 Academic Driven
Ayo Hall Installation of Riser Platforms $10,000.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Hall Mud/Reservoir Lab Renovation $39,000.00 Academic Driven
Peltier Hall Classroom A/C Installation $7,000.00 Academic Driven
Stopher Gymnasium Women’s Locker Room Renovation $81,000.00 Facility Upgrade
Elkins Hall Purchasing Department Flooring Replacement $15,000.00 Facility Upgrade
Shaver Gymnasium Exterior Painting $10,000.00 Facility Upgrade
Talbot Hall Lighting Console $12,200.00 Technology Upgrade
Peltier & Polk Halls Waterproofing of Elevators $8,400.00 Safety Concern
Stopher Gymnasium Roof Replacement $228,116.00 Facility Repair
Lindsley Hall Lighting Upgrade $18,788.00 Safety Concern
Gouaux Hall Cooling Tower Replacement $81,150.00 Facility Repair
Peltier Hall LOOP System Replacement $320,000.00 Facility Repair
Family and Consumer Sciences Building Roof Re-Coating $50,000.00 Facility Upgrade
Ellender Memorial Library Lighting Repair $15,000.00 Safety Concern
Continuing Education Sewer Line Repair $15,000.00 Facility Repair
Polk Hall Air Handler Replacement $55,000.00 Facility Repair
Lindsley Hall Chiller Replacement $75,000.00 Facility Repair

The University maintains a system for prioritizing projects for funding.  As part of their annual plans, departments send yearly requests for renovations.  These projects are discussed at quarterly meetings of the Office of Physical Plant Operations’ management.  Cost estimates are prepared, and a list is sent to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office.  The list is then prioritized based on academic needs and forwarded for funding considerations to the chief financial officer.

Plans for Capital Improvements

Requirements for replacement, expansions, and renovations are prioritized and funded in accordance with goals established by the University’s Strategic Plan.  The Louisiana Board of Regents’ capital outlay category and prioritization criteria [7] include accreditation requirements, external agency studies, environmental and health issues, existing space, available funding, and existing building conditions.  During the capital outlay request cycle, the University prioritizes its requests by matching these criteria with priority guidelines provided by the State of Louisiana:

  • master planning;
  • code requirements and/or non-funded mandates;
  • technology and infrastructure;
  • new campus start-ups;
  • renovation of existing facilities;
  • timely land acquisition;
  • utilization of vacant buildings; and
  • construction of new space.

The University’s capital outlay requests are submitted according to guidelines provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents [8] and the University of Louisiana System [9].  After approval, the Board of Regents consolidates all higher education public institution requests into one document and submits it to the Louisiana Division of Administration.  The University currently has a “Five Year Capital Outlay Plan” [10].

In addition to capital outlay requests, the University has been authorized by the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Regents to proceed with several self-generated, self-funded projects.  Funding for these projects was secured through a bond sale utilizing a private 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation.  The projects were chosen on the basis of student-identified needs in the areas of recreation, housing, food services, and parking.  Table 5 provides a list of completed authorized projects.

Table 5:  Self-Generated Capital Projects, Utilizing a 501 (c) (3) Corporation
Project Cost Completion Date
Re-surfacing of Streets & Parking Lots $3,200,000.00 Spring 2007
Renovation of Cafeteria & Student Union $5,500,000.00 Fall 2007
Renovation, Demolition, Construction of New Residence Halls $50,000,000.00 Fall 2008
Student Recreation Center $17,000,000.00 Fall 2012



1 Nicholls State University>Facilities Master Plan>August 1997
2 Louisiana Board of Regents>Data and Publications>Facilities Inventory and Space Utilization System>2014 Facilities Building, Rooms and Class Utilization Edits by Institution
3 State of Louisiana>Division of Administration>Facility Planning and Control<Web-Enabled Facility Management Program
4 State of Louisiana>Division of Administration>Facility Planning and Control>Site Information for Nicholls State University
5 Nicholls State University>The Duhe Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education
6 Nicholls State University>Chauvin Sculpture Garden and Art Studio
7 Nicholls State University>Farm
8 Louisiana Board of Regents>Finance and Facilities>Facilities Forms and Templates>Capital Outlay Category and Prioritization Criteria (PDF)
9 Louisiana Board of Regents>Finance and Facilities>Policies and Procedures (PDF)
10 University of Louisiana System>Board Bylaws and Rules>Chapter VI, Facilities Planning (PDF)
11 Nicholls State University>Five Year Capital Outlay Plan (PDF)