UL Lafayette's plans to build a 1,150-space parking tower and make facility improvements at its athletic complex were approved Thursday by the Louisiana State Bond Commission, the final step in the funding process.

The bond commission’s action paves the way for work to begin this fall, the university announced. The projects were approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget Sept. 13, and had been previously approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and Board of Supervisors of the UL System.

UL_parking_garage
Design by TimHaahs
Construction is set to begin Nov. 1 on a new parking garage on East Lewis Street, between Fletcher and Oliver halls.

“We’re starting to put together contracts. I expect parking tower construction to begin Nov. 1,” Bill Crist, the university’s facilities director, says in a prepared release. The parking garage will be built on East Lewis Street, between Fletcher and Oliver halls. Plans also call for construction of a smaller building in front of the garage, facing the street.

Additional seats at Cajun Field will be installed behind the south end zone. Plans also include construction of an Athletics Performance Center and offices, and upgrades to the soccer and track facility, according to the release. Football stadium seat prep work will start in November, with construction will likely begin in early 2014, Crist notes.

The deadline is August 2014 for completion of the parking tower and stadium seating, Crist says. “The goal is to have them both done before the start of the Fall 2014 semester and next football season.”

These projects are part of the university’s master plan and the athletic master plan, which will guide campus development and growth for the next several years. The plans include provisions for campus structures, roads, spaces, signage and perimeter developments.

The parking tower and stadium projects will be financed through the private, non-profit Ragin’ Cajun Facilities Inc.

Ambling Development out of Atlanta was selected as the contractor for the parking tower, Crist says. That garage is part of the university's original housing and parking project, which was awarded to Ambling in 2010. "While new funding had to be procured, the original contract with Ambling is still in force," Crist tells The IND. The architecture group handling this project is TimHaahs, also out of Atlanta, a firm Crist calls "the foremost parking garage consultant in the U.S."

ul_stadium_master_plan
Design by 360 Architecture
Additional seats at Cajun Field will be installed behind the south end zone as part of the initial phase
of construction projects to improve the facility. An Athletics Performance Center and offices,
and upgrades to the soccer and track facility have also been funded in the first phase
of the master plan, pictured here.

Lafayette-based Lemoine Co. is the contractor/developer for the athletic complex improvements. The Lemoine team consists of 360 Architecture (based in Missouri), Architects Southwest and Beazley-Molliere Architects, according to Crist.

The projects, which will be completed using no state monies, will be funded through several sources, including the sale of bonds, self-assessed student fees and auxiliary revenue. “Auxiliary revenue comes from things like the sale of athletic tickets, food services fees, housing fees, commercial ventures and parking fees,” Crist explained in the release.

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