POSTED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 2:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 2:19pm
New Orleans, La — Today, Governor Jindal was joined by SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo and Chairman of the Southern University System Board of Supervisors Darren Mire to mark the opening of the new Southern University School of Business building.
Governor Jindal said, “When I took office in 2008, I made it clear – our goal wasn’t to simply rebuild what Katrina took from us. For New Orleans and our entire state to succeed and prosper, we needed to rebuild better than before – and there’s no more important place that we can rebuild stronger and better than before than at our schools. Schools like SUNO are the places where minds are shaped and dreams can be set into reality.
“That’s what today’s ribbon-cutting is all about. Indeed, this building is about more than just bricks and mortar. It’s a sign of rebirth. This new building is a place where we can give our students the tools to compete with students around the world and be prepared for jobs in the 21st century workforce.”
The Southern University School of Business building is located on the SUNO Lake Campus. Construction began on March 22, 2010 and was completed on August 17, 2011. The building is two stories, with approximately 17,000 square feet of faculty offices, a lecture hall, computer labs, and classroom space. The total cost of construction was $3.86 million.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Governor highlighted his administration's investments at college and universities around Louisiana.
Since 2008, the Jindal Administration has invested more than $600 million in critical higher education infrastructure projects. At SUNO, the Governor has directed roughly $2 million to replace chilled water and high temperature water lines. The Administration has also committed around $2 million in Community Development Block Grant Funds for three projects at SUNO, including:
· $1.1 million for renovations to the Health & Physical Education Building at SUNO, which will include renovating the gym floor, shower and locker rooms, windows, air conditioning and elevators;
· $500,000 for library renovations, including the relocation of books to upper floors, the construction of Internet café, conference and meeting rooms, the installation of new elevators and an upgrade to the building’s HVAC system; and
· $325,000 in CDBG funds for the SUNO Blue Light Security System, which will install beacon lights, emergency call stations and a public announcement system to increase safety & security in emergency situations.
The Governor also highlighted efforts to secure more recovery dollars for SUNO.
Governor Jindal said, “We rejected FEMA’s original offer of $25 million to rebuild SUNO and FEMA has now obligated about $105 million for SUNO, including about $82 million to repair and replace damaged buildings and classrooms. The bottom line is that these dollars are important for SUNO to rebuild from Katrina and give our students a world class learning environment so they can be prepared for careers and so they can pursue their dreams right here at home.”
Some projects that will be funded with the $82 million include $19 million for the multi-purpose building, $15 million for the new science classroom building, and $16 million for the Clark Hall Education Building.