Southeastern addressing parking, enhancing Western Avenue entrance area

Contact: Rene Abadie

     HAMMOND – The topsoil excavated from Southeastern Louisiana University's Strawberry Stadium in a turf replacement project funded by the Lion Athletic Association won't be headed for a landfill or other dumpsite.
     Instead the dirt is being piled along the university's Gen. Pershing Avenue and will be recycled to enhance the drainage and appearance of the area, while also providing additional student parking space.
     The enhancement project represents a collaboration between the university and the Student Government Association, explained Facilities Planning Director Ken Howe.
     The area is low and tends to hold water following a heavy rain, Howe said. The dirt will be used to build landscaping berms to assist in managing the drainage. New trees and landscaping will further upgrade the entrance, one of the main portals into the university.
     Monies from an SGA capital outlay grant will concurrently fund an upgrading of Tinsley Gardens, the camellia-laden area located behind the R. Norval Garrett College of Business Building and the President's Residence on Gen. Pershing Avenue. The Tinsley Gardens project will redefine the camellia gardens and will include development of gathering areas with benches and tables. The area will be equipped with wi-fi capability for wireless Internet access.
     Discussions of an additional grant to include entrance enhancement are underway. Related projects include sidewalk restoration in the area and construction of a new student parking lot to add approximately 60 vehicles.
     Most of the project will be performed by the university's Physical Plant staff, Howe added. Concrete work for sidewalks and the parking area will be contracted. The project is expected to be completed this summer.

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