University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus Housing Lafayette, Louisiana
Located on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL), the Campus Housing project was introduced amidst current conditions and limited offerings of student housing to potential and existing students. As the second largest University in the state, UL lacked the housing assets held by other Universities, able to accommodate only 11% of its student population, compared to 20% and above at peer institutions. With student population continuing to rise, UL embarked on a mission not only to alleviate the impending space issues but to create a solution that would exceed expectations and raise the bar of traditionally perceived campus housing with the introduction of a “campus neighborhood” concept.
The most strapping obstacle was ensuring the available bed count, even with the demolition of existing facilities, stayed constant and only improved during the course of construction. The University needed to have 120,000 SF, 462-bed Baker Hall available, along with an 854 space parking garage which included 8,000 SF of tenant space, in 8 months. This would allow students living in the present dorms to vacate and move into Baker Hall by August 1, 2011, thus allowing the contractor to begin demolition and construction of 240,000 SF of dorms to be made available for the following August of 2012. Formulating a detailed scheduling plan, and driving the schedule through its critical path, ensured that replacement and renovation of existing facilities allowed students to be moved comfortably and safely into their new temporary homes while new construction was underway.
While the new construction in the Student Housing project posed a variety of scheduling and planning challenges, the Renovations associated with the project posed their own construction and engineering challenges. In both Randolph Hall and Buchanan Hall, the project team was tasked with renovating two Historic buildings on campus. This involved bringing both buildings up to code, completely gutting the existing interior walls, installing elevator shafts, all while maintaining the historical and architectural integrity of the buildings.
Over a 24-month timeline, the project involved demolition of 6 existing and construction of 4 new buildings, renovation of 3 buildings, 854 structured parking spaces and 8,000 SF of retail. UL began the Fall 2012 semester with nearly 2,100 beds and approximately 460,000 SF of freshly constructed new age campus living.