Ida Repairs Update


It has been 560 days since Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Louisiana coast and hit Nicholls State University causing damage. Over a year and a half later, renovations are in progress but nearing an end.

As of now the estimated costs of the repairs are $18.4 million but are subject to change as work continues.

For repairs, the university was separated into two quadrants, the main and the perimeter quadrant. Each quadrant has its own architect, contractor, and contract end date. The perimeter quadrant will be the first quadrant finished.

The quadrant architect for the perimeter quadrant is Tipon & Associates out of Baton Rouge,  and the contractor is Cotton Commercial USA, out of Katy, Tx. The contract end date is June 6, 2023.

For the main quadrant, the architect is the Duplantis Design Group, the contractor is Onshore Construction, and the contract end date is June 29, 2023.

As of Friday, March 10, 2023, in the perimeter quadrant, the dorm halls have had their roof shingles replaced with the exception of Scholars Hall. The work on Scholars will begin on March 10. 

In the main quadrant buildings, the roofs have been replaced on include Kilgen Hall, Picciola Hall, Candies Hall, and Elkins Hall. Powell/White Hall is the next building scheduled to be repaired. 

The length of time renovations have taken was a result of the Office of Risk Management’s “cross every T and dot every I” approach. The Office of Risk Management as described by Director of Facility Services & Project Manager Danielle Breaux is the school’s insurance. Breaux says the office learned a lot from the reconstruction at McNeese State University after Hurricane Laura damaged the school.

“Their first response with McNeese was, ‘let’s jump in and get everything repaired. So, they [fixed] everything,” Breaux said. “After everything was done there were a lot of lawsuits against contractors and it caused a lot of chaos.”

Taking their time allowed for the paperwork to be done correctly and prevented lawsuits, Breaux explained. 

Ellender Memorial Library was one of the buildings on campus that faced extensive damage. Constant leaks and delays in shipping have caused the library to be one of the last buildings repaired. Making the library become an ADA violation because the elevator is not functioning.

“We want to get the roofs fixed before we do any interior work,” Breaux said. ”As soon as we see the roofs finishing up we should see the elevators being repaired, but it was due to the long lead time on the parts.”

Due to the library renovations, Afton Drive will be closed between the two crosswalks and a portion of the parking lot near the softball complex will be blocked off for approximately a month starting the weekend of March 18, 2023.