Throughout the past few months, many students might have noticed a slight change around campus. Old buildings being torn down, and construction fences going up in replace of them. Most people may have even seen the famous Old Jones Hall come down as it was being demolished. These changes, however, are big for the campus and all that it will be offering in the years to come.
“We launched a strategic plan for Southern University Baton Rouge. The idea was to develop new academic programs and to make sure the programs that we have are viable.” Says President-Chancellor Dr. Ray L. Belton.
As the campus celebrates its 141st anniversary, it is also very easy to see that some of the buildings are very old and outdated. This is one of the reasons that administration is moving forward with their plan to redesign the campus and potentially attract more students to the school. Over the next few years, students will witness a lot of change and a lot of new resources introduced to our campus.
In regards to the new academic buildings, Dr. Belton states, “In terms of buildings, we were successful through a number of advocates to get capital funding to construct a new physical science complex and a new college of business.”
Those two buildings will be the first of many that we will see go up in the near future. While there is no exact date on when these projects will be complete, Dr. Belton confirmed that we’d likely see some type of progress in the next year or so. With new academic buildings also comes new housing opportunities for students as well.
More good news for those who plan to live on campus and are craving some type of change! The campus will be gaining at least 800 new beds that will be housed in brand new living facilities on campus. These facilities will not only provide for the growing population but will also add to the new look and experience that the campus is going for.
“We already have the dollars in place for a 300-million-dollar honors dorm for students as well.” Says Dr. Belton. “There are two types of dorms, we’re going to do 300 beds for the honors dorms, and by the end of December we will have the money in place to start constructing a 500-bed freshman complex to support the growth that we’re experiencing at Southern University.”
The new residential halls that include 500 beds will take the form of one-bedroom apartments, and administration already has a design in place for them. While this may be exciting for most, this construction might take a while before it's actually in motion. This is due to the fact that administration wants to ensure students are able to safely drive on roads around campus.
There will be plenty of opportunities for students as they embark on their journey of higher education at Southern University. Students who have other majors such as Mass Communications will also be experiencing new resources and opportunities as well. The ultimate goal for these new additions to our campus is to promote the well being of Southern and potentially attract more students overall. There will be much change occurring in the upcoming years, and it will be pretty exciting to watch the transformation!