“I just want to express how happy I am for this university and this community,” said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “Sandel Hall is being designed by a Monroe-based architect and built by a Monroe-based contractor. This project is not only important to ULM, it is important to the region.”
The building, now 51 years old, began as the university’s second library location after outgrowing its first location in Bry Hall. Opening in 1963, the then two-story building served as the university library until the current library location opened in 1999.
The newest version of the building is designed by Bill land of Land3 Architects. Land’s father designed the first version of Sandel Hall.
Land said, “My father was the original architect on Sandel Hall in 1961, and my grandfather was the original architect on the first building on campus in 1931, Brown Hall, so I have some big shoes to fill. It means a lot to me, personally.”
In 1977 a third floor was added to the location, and since the library’s departure from the building, the facility has housed the university’s Natural History Museum, the ULM Herbarium, The ULM Testing Center, The ULM Bookstore, and The ULM Office of Recruitment and admissions.
Monroe Mayor, Jamie Mayo, a 1979 graduate, reminisced about his time at ULM. “What an amazing day it is today and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate President Bruno on this wonderful enhancement to our university,” he said.
“We appreciate the fact that there will be jobs created for those who will help renovate this building…I want to congratulate the northeast Louisiana delegation for your support because this is something that is greatly needed and we certainly look forward to its completion.”
Upon reopening, the building will house an innovative biology lab and classroom with state-of-the-art technology, and will also serve as a go-to stop for students entering the university.
“At times I thought this wasn’t going to happen,” said Senator Neil Riser. “To see this structure carry on and be a multi-use facility is very exciting.”
Recruitment and Admissions, The Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid, Enrollment Services, The Office of Career Connections, and the Bookstore will all call the new Sandel Hall, home. KEDM Public Radio 90.3, as well as student-run KXUL will also find a place in Sandel Hall with new studio and office space.
Lisa Miller, Assistant Vice President of Recruitment and Admissions, has been waiting for this moment since she began her tenure at ULM exactly 12 years ago. “Sandel Hall will allow us to provide outstanding enrollment services in a one-stop-shop environment,” she said.
“The renovations to this building will enhance our services and increase accessibility through the use of the most effective human and technological advancements. While we are proud of the statistics that validate that we continue to attract the best and brightest to this beautiful university on the bayou, one can only imagine the impression and the impact this facility will have on their decision to join our Warhawk family.”
Officials hope to have the building ready for use in spring 2016.
To view photos of the event, visit Sandel Hall Groundbreaking