Construction on LSMSA’s new residence hall passes half-way point

Possibly the largest construction project in Natchitoches, the new residence hall project for the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) has entered its second year of construction.

Planned as a 24-month project, the 110,000-square-foot residence hall will house a total of 360 male and female students. The building consists of three towers and four floors and will be separated into 10 residential neighborhoods comprised of double occupancy two-bedroom suites, a common room, study room, and card-operated laundry facilities. An on-site health clinic with full-time registered nurse and assistant will be available to students. In addition, residents will be able to enjoy several activity areas including a student lounge, craft room, demonstration kitchen and outdoor firepit.

“Progress on the new residence hall continues, and despite persistent rainfall and social distancing measures, we are on schedule to move in Fall 2021,” said Dr. Steve Horton, LSMSA executive director. “It is the largest structure on campus, and the size and magnitude can now be seen from University Parkway.”

The school’s current residence halls, Caddo and Prudhomme, were generously loaned to LSMSA in the 1980s by Northwestern State University. While it was originally planned that the buildings would be in use for only five years, state budget restraints delayed requests for a new residence hall until 2005, well past the buildings’ intended use. Both buildings will return to NSU after construction of the new residence hall is completed.

The facility was designed by Ashe, Broussard, and Weinzettle Architects after extensive planning with LSMSA personnel and students. Ratcliff Construction was awarded the construction contract in spring 2019 and broke ground on the project the following May. Both companies are based in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Often ranked as one of the top schools in the nation, LSMSA is the state’s premier choice for academically advanced students. As a public high school, there is no tuition to attend and enrollment is open to any qualified sophomore, junior, or senior in Louisiana. The school is currently accepting applications for enrollment in 2020-2021.