Following the conclusion of the legislative session on June 8, House Bill 2 has been submitted to the governor for his approval. Northwestern State University is poised to receive $65.1 million in capital outlay for three important facility projects, pending Gov. John Bel Edwards’ signature. These projects encompass the development and construction of a health performance center, the refurbishment of Warrington Place at NSU’s Shreveport campus, and the replacement of Kyser Hall, which will be named Robert Alost Hall.

I express my gratitude to our legislative delegation – State Senator Louie Bernard, State Senator Jay Luneau, State Representative Kenny R. Cox, and the many other legislators from across the State of Louisiana – for their support of NSU. These facility projects, both collectively and individually, play a crucial role in ensuring that NSU remains current, enhancing the learning environment, maintaining athletic excellence, and appealing to prospective students and student-athletes.

An allocation of $44.7 million has been designated for the construction of a cutting-edge academic building that will replace Kyser Hall. In March, officials initiated the groundbreaking for this facility, which will be named after former NSU President Dr. Robert Alost. Spanning an impressive 73,200 square feet, Alost Hall will boast spacious multipurpose classrooms that can be transformed into a single expansive and versatile area. Alost Hall will house simulation laboratories tailored for graduate and undergraduate nursing and anesthesia programs, a clinic and training area for social work and psychology, a café, a dozen 30-person classrooms, two 40-person classrooms, and three 50-person classrooms. There will be space for 60 offices and an administrative office suite that could include spaces for deans, department heads, administrative assistants, a large conference room, and reception area.

A total of $13.4 million has been allocated for the refurbishment of Warrington Place, located at the Nursing Education Center in Shreveport. This facility serves the College of Nursing, the School of Allied Health, and the NSU Child and Family Network. Originally built in 1966, Warrington Place served as the primary location for the College of Nursing, functioning as both an academic building and a dormitory. The top three floors of the dormitory have been demolished and are prepared for the upcoming renovation project. The scope of the renovation entails transforming these spaces into nursing classrooms, laboratories, a bookstore, and an activities center.

$7 million has been allocated for the planning and renovation of a modern health performance center, encompassing the entire athletic fieldhouse complex that caters to NSU’s 14 intercollegiate sports teams, student athletes, coaches, and other personnel. The facility will be named in honor of former State Senator Donald G. Kelly. A new training facility, known as the David and Sherry Morgan Health Performance Center, will be built adjacent to the existing fieldhouse. This annex will span the back area of the fieldhouse and boast a range of amenities. The center will encompass an expansive 11,600 square foot weight room, providing ample space for over 100 student-athletes to train. It will feature a 25-foot artificial turf pad, a nutrition center, a comfortable lounge area dedicated to student-athletes, and designated offices for the strength and conditioning staff.

The second phase of this project will involve transforming the current weight room into an advanced rehabilitation center equipped with technology and other upgrades for sports medicine purposes. The third phase will focus on renovating the current Eugene Christmas athletic training room, further enhancing the overall facilities and resources available to support the well-being and performance of the university’s athletes.

The impact of each of these specific projects and others at the institution have an impact far beyond the campus, extending throughout the Central and Northwest region of the state.  With this type of impact, NSU continues to influence the lives of its students and the regional economy.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University