A new student event center is being constructed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Due to open in the fall of 2018, the center is a renovation and upgrade of the former Lake C. Oxford Natatorium, which opened in 1978.
In 2014, the Natatorium, which was previously occupied by the YMCA of Northeast Louisiana, was closed because of low participation and high operating costs. The YMCA attempted to control the loss, but even it could not handle the financial burden of the aquatic complex.
The facility will include a ballroom that will seat 550, a theatre that will seat 83, an outside amphitheater, and a practice area for spirit groups. Overlooking Bayou DeSiard will be a large deck area.
President Dr. Nick Bruno said that the facility will service not only the ULM family but the surrounding community as well.
“This facility will do so much, not just for ULM but for this community. It will provide a beautiful facility that members of the community can gather, whether it’s for a wedding or reunion or for a conference,” Bruno said.
Citing that the student body is expanding and the present Student Union Building, built in the early 2000s is already aging, the SGA concluded that this facility would make it easy to host big and beautiful events. The funding of the building would be provided by the students through student fees assessed to their accounts.
The architecture and construction of the upgrade is being handled by Tim Brandon Studios of West Monroe and Traxler Construction of Monroe.