New student recreation center coming to Xavier

Xavier University of Louisiana is continuing to sprout “green.”
Xavier has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Edward G. Schlieder Educational Foundation for capital improvements to its aging six-story building at 989 South Jefferson Davis Parkway – officially designated Xavier South – which houses classrooms, academic departments, faculty offices and administrative offices.

Built in 1950, the six-story, 123,000-square-foot structure originally housed the offices of the Humble Oil Company and was later sold to South Central Bell (AT&T).
For 39 years, it also was home to the Wise Cafeteria on the ground floor.
The building was vacant for several years before Xavier purchased it in 1989, providing much-needed classroom space for a growing academic community. Enrollment peaked at just over 4,100 in 2005.
Since purchasing the building, Xavier limited repairs and renovations to an “as needed” basis.
Two years ago, the school approved a major renovation plan to make the building – today a critical component of campus activities – safe and worthy. Renovations are now in the second phase of a four-phase process.
Already completed and ongoing renovations include interior moisture mitigation and exterior building renovation, including replacing the windows and waterproofing of the exterior.
Total cost of the renovation will reach $6.2 million.
Xavier also is making substantial progress on a new, $3.6 million Student Recreation Center. The new two-story, 22,500-square-foot building, which sits on the site previously occupied by the former B. Samuels building (corner of Drexel Drive and South Jefferson Davis Parkway), is expected to be completed in the fall 2015.
When fully operational, the center will house a NCAA regulation-size basketball court, a three-lane running/walking track, exercise rooms, dance studios, office space, weight rooms, workout rooms and exercise equipment.
The Woodward Design Group is heading up the project.