McNeese State University President Daryl Burckel recently recorded a video providing campus updates regarding the university’s post-hurricane recovery. “Everyday we see more progress across campus,” he said in the video’s opening.
Academic buildings are re-opening with face-to-face classes resuming, he said, and student housing is also coming back online.
“As we start to move away from repairing storm damage, we are focusing on the future and seeking opportunities to transform our campus.”
The university’s Contraband Bayou project is scheduled to be completed this year, he said. “It will provide a beautiful walkway to the heart of campus from the residence halls and Student Central.”
Construction on the new student union is also scheduled to begin soon. It will include new dining space, student hang out space, a bookstore, meeting rooms for student organizations, study areas and “many more dedicated and multi-purpose spaces.”
As the university works with FEMA through the hurricane recovery process, Burckel said, “We will have opportunities, depending on the funding, to rebuild some facilities and enhance other parts of campus all in accordance with our master pan.”
Such enhancements include a potential new building for the Burton College of Education, building a new press box and Sky Ranch at Cowboy Stadium, relocating campus police into the Watkins Building, moving the Autism Program into the former police station and making major renovations to the softball and baseball fields. Plans for improvement through the McNeese Foundation will also soon be announced including the development of property on Sale Street and a possible expansion on Ryan Street.
The university is also in the process of developing new student housing in the place of where the Old Ranch was located, he added.
The university’s plans go beyond transforming the physical campus, Burckel said, and include “re-fashioning our required general education courses to make them more purposeful.” The changes will include a “Life 101” series that will will provide students with life skills education and a unique McNeese experience, he said.
“Education is transformative and we have big dreams and plans for our university that will influence generations of McNeese graduates.”