Apr 11, 2013 6:24 PM by Press Release
More than 77 percent of debris from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Student Union demolition has been recycled.
The recycled material amounted to more than 440 tons of metal and 11,504 tons of concrete. To put that weight into perspective: a Boeing 737 commercial jet airliner - loaded with fuel, passengers and cargo - weighs about 73 tons maximum at take off.
"Everything that needs to be torn down has been taken down and we're putting in the underground structure to support the new building," said Bill Crist, UL Lafayette facilities director.
The Student Union, which was 128,000 square feet, will be upgraded and expanded by about 30,000 square feet.
Recycling material will help the university earn LEED certification, which is an objective of the project. LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary, internationally recognized green building program.
An initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED program was established in 1993. It provides guidelines for implementing building designs and construction.
Engineering firm TME of Little Rock, Ark., is the LEED consultant for the Student Union project.
The $36 million project, begun late last year, involves new construction and renovation of University Bookstore, the main ballroom and Bayou Bijou movie theater. It is slated for completion in December 2014.
The Lemoine Co. is the general contractor, while the demolition phase was coordinated by D.H. Griffin.
The project, part of the university's Master Plan, is being funded with self-assessed student fees. In Spring 2003, students approved a $55 per semester fee dedicated to the new Student Union. They OK'd an additional $20 per semester fee in 2005. To date, the University has collected about $21 million in student fees. An additional $23 million in bonds will also be tapped to help fund the work.
Until construction is completed, part of University Bookstore has been relocated to a building on St. Mary Boulevard; the remainder has been moved to the bookstore's Red Zone outlet, at the intersection of Johnston and East Lewis streets. Canebrake Cafeteria has been temporarily moved to nearby Guillory Hall. Other offices, such as Student Services, Food Services, Housing and Student Programming, have been temporarily relocated to Vermilion and Lafayette halls.
The new Student Union will be farther away from Cypress Lake than the original structure. The intervening space will be filled with a large courtyard or plaza that fronts the lake.
The new facility will be closer to McKinley Street. Meeting rooms on the second floor will feature balconies that face McKinley Street.
Architects Southwest of Lafayette was in charge of planning and designing the new Student Union.