Road repaving one of many infrastructure projects


Sam Sibley Drive from University Parkway to Caspari Street was repaved over the summer. Photo credit: Melissa Taylor

Northwestern State University is making an effort to improve the structures on campus. Students can see some changes already in effect, but there is still work to be done.

Sam Sibley Drive was notorious for its potholes; these were so bad, cars could be damaged driving at the speed limit. The project to repave this road began in April 2017. Money for the project came from university funds, and students seem to think it was well worth it.

“I can actually drive my car without worrying something will fall off due to all the potholes,” said Lulu Mier, sophomore biology major.

Capital Outlay and Special Projects Coordinator Gil Gilson said plans for repaving other roads are in the works, but with the currently uncertain nature of state funding, there is no telling when the university will receive money to complete these projects.

The only money received from the state for renovations recently was used to replace the air conditioning in Bienvenu Hall.

Some places around campus were noticed to be especially dark at night. To increase student safety, several LED lights have been added to provide a cost-effective, efficient solution to reduce dark spaces in which people could once hide.

Sophomore criminal justice major JaKayla Lee thinks the new lights are a great addition to campus.

“A lot of females have late-night classes, and while they can call the police, it swamps the police station, taking away from if there was an emergency,” she said.

NSU is trying to change all bulbs to LEDs, according to Gilson. Lights in some buildings, on organization row and the “N” atop Turpin Stadium have been changed and there are plans in the near future to replace the remaining lights as well.

The new LED bulbs are just one of a few things Northwestern State is doing to become a more eco-friendly campus. Faucets are being replaced and will have an automatic shutoff, conserving water. New air conditioning controls will monitor temperatures and humidity and keep the temperature at a set point, reducing energy use.

One project close to fruition is a covered pavilion on the Iberville Green that will be able to accommodate speakers and lights for concerts. The pavilion is expected to be finished about three months after funds are secured and construction begins.

Also in the works is a new multipurpose building. This project will cost roughly $34 million, and NSU has begun consulting with different groups around campus to decide who would use the building and for what purposes. The area to the east of Tarlton Drive is being considered for this building.

Buildings in line for renovation include Roy Hall, A.A. Fredericks Fine Arts Center, Bienvenu Hall, Fournet Hall, Watson Memorial Library and a complete rebuild of Kyser Hall.

If students have suggestions for renovation projects, Gilson says administrators pay attention to the Student Concerns Facebook group.