Several areas on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have been under construction and there are a lot of improvements coming in the next year. The $40 million student union is half-way complete and other areas are coming along as well.
Construction is loud, it's messy, but the pieces are finally coming together for the student union. It sits in the heart of campus and what is just a skeleton of a building now, will transform into something very special, according to project manager, Jack Craft.
“There is the cafeteria, the dining area, the bookstore, ballroom, and theater,” said Craft. “So, you're going to have a lot of everything that will affect the lives of everyone around it.”
Starting the project was not easy. Craft says there were a lot of obstacles like the swamp leaking into the foundation and cold, wet winter weather. But the 178,000 square-foot building is slowly coming together.
“A lot of material has gone into this-a lot of specialty items,” said Craft. “So, I'd say overall, it's been a pretty complex job.”
Also under construction is the student quad. That area will eventually be landscaped with sitting areas and packed with students going to and from class. Both the quad and the student union are a central cut-through on campus, so for students, the ongoing construction is a huge inconvenience.
“A lot of people have classes all the way across campus and it takes forever,” said Stephanie Nelson, a UL student. “So, then you're late to class.”
But what's a big inconvenience now may soon be forgotten once it all comes together.
“(After) all this construction, it will look really nice and will give the school a facelift,” said Angelle Ferguson, also a UL student.
“It should be the hub and the heartbeat of campus from what I can see,” said Craft.
The construction is slated to be complete sometime between October and December 2014.