April 16, 2004
ULM Gets Approval from State Bond Commission for New On-Campus Housing and Other Projects
The University of Louisiana at Monroe now has the authorization it needs to move forward with its on-campus student housing project that will provide new apartment- and suite-style residences. At a state bond commission hearing held Thursday morning in Baton Rouge, ULM was approved for bond funding not-to-exceed $80 million.
ULM's estimated need for all endeavors, including the new student housing, renovation of the Student Union Building (SUB) and a new Student Health Center is approximately $68 million.
Nick Bruno, Vice President for Business Affairs is enthusiastic about the approval of the bond saying this now allows ULM to move forward with its highly anticipated new student housing and other updates to the University's landscape. "We are on schedule working with JPI Campus Quarters and continue to refine negotiations to finalize the costs and specifics associated with the various projects funded by the issuance. This is another step in the right direction for ULM and our students," said Bruno.
Plans for the new residential facilities call for the renovation of Ouachita and Madison Halls and the demolition of eight existing residence halls constructed in the 1950s and 1960s making way for the new buildings. The ninth, Olin Hall, will be demolished by the state's Facility Planning and Control office.
Demolition is expected to begin in Summer of 2004 for the apartment portion of the project, with planned completion in the fall of 2005. The suite-style student living project will follow with occupancy planned for the Fall of 2006. JPI Campus Quarters will also provide comprehensive management services on an ongoing basis for ULM's entire on-campus housing program, which totals approximately 1,500 beds.
Some changes to the revamped SUB would include an all night computer lab, a late night coffee shop/lounge, a ballroom and meeting rooms for campus organizations. The new SUB would also serve as a campus information center, providing students with one-stop shopping for any information they need concerning ULM. The transformation of the SUB will make it more of a living room for the students.
Current plans for the SUB call for the demolition of the Indian Bank and the old campus bookstore. The concept also calls for the current SUB and the old SUB to be joined by the walkways to create a single building from the two. The outside renovations will include arched lanterns and more windows to give the SUB an open air feel. The inside renovations will create a plaza atmosphere with much more room for students.