Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Quadrangle is getting a student-designed makeover, which will include a central fountain and plaza, as well as new walkways and landscaping.
A homecoming event, "Carnival in the Quad," held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, was the last event in the Quad for the academic year.
"The Carnival was an opportunity to celebrate Homecoming and to say farewell to the Quad as we know it and prepare for the transformation of one of the best-loved places on campus," said Patricia Cottonham, interim vice president for Student Affairs.
Although fences will go up around the Quad, the covered walkways and sidewalks that surround it will remain open for use, said Bill Crist, director of Facilities Management at UL Lafayette.
Workers will remove sidewalks, seating and most of the trees within the Quadrangle. A new, improved drainage system also will be installed and new trees planted.
A section of the University's Walk of Honor, walkways paved with the names of alumni, intersects the Quad. The inscribed terracotta pavers will be replaced with bricks. To accommodate recent and future grads, the Walk of Honor will eventually be extended beyond the Quad. It will run parallel to Boucher Street, near the Rose Garden and the Student Union.
UL Lafayette's Student Government Association spearheaded the redesign in 2010. Senior architecture students developed the design for the University's Community Design Workshop, which enables students to work on real-life projects.
Crist said the Quadrangle redesign, which is part of the University's comprehensive Master Plan, is the first major project to be paid for with self-assessed student fees. Students voted last year to support implementation of the Master Plan, which was developed by Architects Southwest. The firm sought input from the community and collaborated with experts in parking, transportation and pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
"The redevelopment of the Quad is an important step forward to enhance the pedestrian-friendly aspects of the campus, including comfortable gathering places for students, faculty and staff," Crist added.