By Brandon Cherry
Visualizing goals helps achievement. At Nicholls State University, a 25-year master plan is giving pictures and visuals to what the institution can look like and how it can grow in the Bayou region.
Alex Arceneaux, vice president for enrollment and external affairs, says a diagram of this outlook for the university is what encourages donors to give.
“It’s important to donors to see images and have a plan in order to receive donations,” Arceneaux says.
The school’s campus has received many enhancements in the last few years, and the master plan roadmaps the numerous upgrades it plans to accomplish over the next quarter century.
Nicholls State University President Jay Clune, who leads the vision of this project, implemented the plan based on feedback from students, faculty and staff. Clune created a subcommittee in the fall 2018 semester to help form the plan.
With so many old buildings and needs on campus, the subcommittee used the survey feedback to show where to start the work. Current and former students found that the least favorite building, by more than 200 votes, was Peltier Hall.
Problems like air conditioning inconsistencies, older styled wooden desks and frequent use by underclassman were just some of the problems associated with the building.
Starting in the summer of 2019, work began to modernize the restrooms and lighting, as well as fresh paint for the entire building using inmate labor from the Lafourche Parish Jail.
Nicholls State alumna Masyn Cortez says she is pleased to see the old building finally getting a new look.
“This is a much needed change for Peltier Hall,” Cortez says. “I hated having to use the restrooms in there; they always looked unsanitary.”
Another major renovation began during the Fall 2019 semester in the Donald G. Bollinger Memorial Student Union. The entire union was gutted to allow a full remodel. The renovations were completed in time for the university’s homecoming celebrations in late October.
Other expected renovations to come are improvements to Ellender Memorial Library, Barker Hall and a new student media office space in Talbot Hall.
Funding for these improvements across campus come not only from donors, but also from partnerships with area organizations.
“The end goal is to make Nicholls the best place we can make it.”