Construction continues

For nearly 50 years the War Memorial Student Union has stood as the center of the Southeastern campus.
With time comes change, however, and the union is currently undergoing a massive renovation that will see its square footage nearly double in size. The new addition will mainly serve to house dining operations and at 87,000 square feet, the three level building will extend past its current location, crossing SGA Drive right after the Sims Memorial Library.
“The Student Union Project will make a dramatic change to the core of our campus,” said Director of Facility Planning Kenneth Howe. “Having so many of the student services located in one location will make the activities of students much easier. We are very excited about what this project will mean both in physical facilities and future environment shifts for our campus community.”
The project has been in the works for a while now, with the contractor of the project, Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge Inc., being recently selected by the university and University Facilities Inc. With that accomplished, and the design firm of Holly and Smith Architects of Hammond, work has begun on the $32.5 million expansion project.
Parking on campus always remains a major concern, as a majority of students commute to school. Some parking has been closed, but others have been reopened and more parking spaces are planned to be constructed.
“While there are four parking lots (three of which were temporary awaiting this construction) which have been closed due to this project, almost the same number of parking spaces have been reopened with the conclusion of the construction at the Kinesiology and Health Studies building,” said Howe. “The number of spaces in the core of campus will remain virtually the same. Also, the plans are in progress to construct a new parking lot off of Ned McGehee Dr. and that will add convenience with a permanent lot for students.”
As for locations inside of the union, most of the offices will be moved, save for Starbucks and the Lion’s Den. The fence currently surrounding the area will remain during phase 1 of the project, but will be shifted once the addition is finished.
The current date of completion has the addition and renovation of the Student Union pegged for October 2014.