By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
PINEVILLE – Summertime usually means less activity on a university campus but not Louisiana College, not this summer. The Pineville college is humming with activity as the school is undergoing $17 million worth of construction.
Eighteen of the 23 buildings on campus are receiving new roofs, after hail from a storm last year caused extensive damage. Other work includes a number of interior upgrades between now and late 2017.
LC President Rick Brewer calls the improvements on campus a miracle.
“Transformation is a central theme for Louisiana College both in the classroom and in our campus facilities,” Brewer said. “The blessing we’ve received from the GuideOne insurance claim will impact the entire campus with 18 roof replacements, several interior repairs and the refurbishment of Guinn Auditorium. Indeed, this work accelerates the significant deferred maintenance facing the college.”
LC contacted GuideOne insurance company for an inspection, which revealed the refurbishment would be rather costly but agreed to cover all the repairs.
The first wave of construction began in late May, when Campers on Mission refurbished a fountain near Alexandria Hall administration building, formed concrete steps close to a dormitory, painted numerous curb, refinished doors and repainted a residence hall. Many of campers who assisted with the project in May are retired but travel the state lending a hand with projects as a way to do missions.
Their time spent on campus saved LC thousands of dollars that would have been paid to professional workers.
Once COM had wrapped up their week in Pineville, professional workers began their work on campus.
Guinn Auditorium is seeing the most improvements. The building, used for chapel, commencement and other large gatherings, will receive a new roof and other improvements totaling $3 million.
Cottingham Hall also is receiving major exterior and interior work. Projects include new carpet in the lobbies, corridors and main entrance area, freshly painted walls, upgraded electrical power service, new wireless points for Internet service, new bathrooms and the replacement of two existing air-handling units, pumps and piping.
For students looking for enhanced entertainment options, a ‘lounge project’ in Tudor Hall will offer seven flat screen TVs for gaming or syncing with their Bluetooth headphones to listen to a specific screen and ports to charge a cell phone or other hand held devices. The lounge also will feature a new movie room, complete with a large flat screen, theater-style seating and surround-sound audio.
Another improvement is the school’s Office of Information Technology.
Once complete, its main building will have new communication lines, closets and cabling. Alexandria Hall and the Church Hall Data Center also will receive generators allowing for continued operation of communication equipment in the event of a storm or a loss of power on campus.
“In addition to the work covered in the insurance claim we are pursuing external support for approximately $10 million of refurbishment/replacement work in Cavanaugh Hall, Tudor Hall, H.O. West and English Village,” Brewer said. “We are praying for prospective donors to step up and meet this need while the projects covered by GuideOne insurance are completed. The financial savings of work being completed concurrent with these other projects would produce significant economies of scale for LC.
“Current campus improvements coupled with an uptick in new student enrollment illustrates God’s faithfulness to the College,” said Brewer, “as we pursue LC’s vision for Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives.”