Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify phase three of the project will replace 2,000 beds near LSU’s University Recreation Center.
LSU is seeking final approval today on phase two of the Nicholson Gateway Project, an $83 million renovation and upgrade to several dorms on campus.
The project, called the Greenhouse District, will demolish Kirby-Smith Hall, a 577-bed dorm, and replace it with a new 405-bed first-year residence called Cedar Hall. Evangeline Hall and Highland Hall will also be renovated, and the project will develop new AgCenter greenhouses to replace the ones being scrapped for the dorm projects.
“We’re in a constant state of renovation for student housing,” says Patrick Martin, LSU’s assistant vice president for real estate, public partnerships and compliance. “These are going to be very modern dorms with kind of suite-style rooms.”
If the Bond Commission today approves LSU’s issuance of $100 million in bonds to pay for the project, the university will begin construction by October and be on pace to open the new Cedar Hall by fall 2019. The other renovations are set to be completed by 2019 or 2020.
LSU began construction on the first phase of the Nicholson Gateway project, which included retail, residences and a $10.5 million new headquarters for the LSU Foundation, last year. The 28-acre project is on Nicholson Drive near Tiger Stadium.
Real estate experts have forecast the ambitious project will alter the student housing market in the area, which has been in a boom in recent years. The host of off-campus apartments that have competed to have the best amenities could take a hit once LSU is done building and renovating residence halls, as students have more options and choose to live closer to campus.
The first phase of the Nicholson Gateway is still under construction and is set to be complete by next fall, says LSU Foundation spokeswoman Sarah Whittaker. Phase three of the project is set to begin in 2019 and will demolish several 1960s-era residence halls, including Acadian extension, Broussard, Herget, McVoy and Miller halls, replacing 2,000 beds with new residences near the University Recreation Center.