Lemoine Co. is constructing a new 178,000-sq-ft student union at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The $36 million project is roughly halfway through construction and completion is expected in December of 2014.
The new student union is being built on the location of the old one and will feature a cafeteria, dining area, bookstore, ballroom and theater. The facility spans nearly an entire city block and sits on the edge of a living swamp.
Jack Craft, project superintendent for Lemoine Co., says the company started on the project in 2012 with a phased-in demolition of the existing facilities. Because of leakage from the swamp, Craft says they needed to dig down ten feet, bring in new fill and compact it. A total of 550 new auger cast piles were driven in the site.
Lemoine Co. has finished constructing the skeleton of the building with all structural steel, mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins in place.
“All the guts of the building are done and now we are progressing with the envelope. The glass work, curtain wall and everything that closes in the building,” says Craft.
Craft says while the job has been going well, there have been some challenges in working on such a busy and heavily-trafficked part of campus.
“The flow of students and traffic has made it a tight site. There's not much room and we've had to keep flag men out to keep the traffic flowing and watch out for the kids,” says Craft.
Lemoine Co. is using twenty subs on the project and on any given day, Craft says there are roughly 165 workers on the site.
The project is striving for LEED certification with the assistance of LEED consultant TME of Little Rock, Ark. More than 77% of the debris from the demolition was recycled, comprising a total of 440 tons of metal and 11,504 tons of concrete.