An ever-changing campus

Traneshia Stormer

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Sorority hall

Sororities on campus haven’t always been without a building to call their own.

In 1956, Nicholson Hall was constructed and housed 108 students. Nicholson was the first sorority dorm on campus until it burned in 1997.

The sorority sisters who lived there were moved into Cosper Hall. It was constructed in 1957 to also housed 108 students. The sororities lived in Cosper until the demolition of all the old dorms in 2005- 2006.

It’s been ten years since the sororities have had their own place.

On Friday, Currier went to Baton Rouge for the bond hearing to get the bond for the new sorority hall granted.

The hall will be funded by rent, as are all other residence halls.

The new sorority hall will house four sororities. The final floor plans have not been made yet, but there may be two buildings with two areas in each or four separate buildings. Each sorority will have its own living space, a chapter room and a storage room.

Currier said there are three sororities that are interested so far: Alpha Omicron Pi, Phi Mu and Kappa Beta Gamma.

The rooms will be more like Commons 1 – they’ll have two beds in each room. The rent for each room will be between the suites and the apartments.

“They’re getting a bit of exclusivity since it’s just them, so they’ll have to pay for that,” Currier said.

If another sorority is interested, or if the three interested sororities need extra space, they’ll be able to use the fourth area. If not, honor students will be next on the list to fill the space.

Currier said, “Part of the agreement is if they don’t fill up their rooms, we have the right to just put general students in there. It’s not just going to be empty.”

The bid for this project will probably be in May or June. Hopefully it will be ready for move in by fall 2017.

Natatorium

Students, faculty and administration have continuously discussed the renovations of the Natatorium over the last couple of years. With construction happening all over campus, students have been wondering when the Natatorium will be transformed into an event center.

“We’re going to put a bid out in March, so it (construction) could probably start in May,” Currier said.

The Natatorium will include an inside theatre. It will seat 84 people and have tier seating. Currier said that will be good for organizations who want to show movies or webinars.

The event center will feature a conference room that will seat 576, whereas the 7th floor of the library only seats 200.

The space in the new event center can be used to host events like Spring Fever concerts and PREP.

They will also  be rented out to the Monroe community. There is not a venue like this anywhere in Monroe. Davis said this will add something to Monroe, not just ULM.

Other features of the building will include a 15-foot patio, a lighted glass dome, a kitchen, a conference room and an ampitheatre.

The renovations will be largely covered by a fee that was voted on and approved by students: the SGA President, the CAB President and two other representatives.

The project is expected to be finished by the middle of April or beginning of May of 2017.

Library

People who enter the library have seen the ‘no food or drink’ signs on the first floor near the computers. However, that will change in the near future.

“Aramark is opening up a coffee shop on the first floor,” Davis said. There may also be a POD (Provisions On Demand) in the library. Some work was started over winter break. It might be finished after spring break, according to Davis.

Currier and Davis are unsure if anything is going to be done with the study rooms right now.

Currier said that Aramark might close the convenient store and expand Starbucks.

Garrett Hall

There has been talk of tearing down Garrett for some time, and Currier said that it could very well come down this summer. Once torn down, it is likely that the land will be used as green space. They may look into adding parking in that area as well.

Activity Center

Davis said some minor renovations to the Activity Center might be made in the future, but any existing plans are in the very early stages. The funds for any projects in the AC are already funded and would not require a student fee. The renovations may include updating office space and adding a cardio area.