Natchitoches, LA (KMSS) — Northwestern State University will host a dedication and grand opening for two buildings in the heart of the university’s campus. Gov. Bobby Jindal and state and local officials are scheduled to join university administrators for a ribbon cutting of the newly-renovated Caspari Hall and the Student Services Center in a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4. The event will include remarks from guests and tours of the facilities, which were designed to better serve students by centralizing several administrative offices.
“The Northwestern family is extremely proud to reopen the repurposed, refurbished historic Caspari Hall,” said NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb, whose office is housed on the second floor of the building. “I am especially honored that the office of the president is now located in the building named after the ‘Father of the Normal School.’”
First opened as a men’s athletic dormitory in 1939, Caspari Hall housed male students until its closure in 2003. The building is named for French-born businessman and politician Leopold Caspari who, while serving as state representative in 1884, spearheaded the campaign to establish the Louisiana State Normal School, now Northwestern State University, in Natchitoches.
In addition to the office of the president, the 16,842 square-foot Caspari Hall is now also home to the provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, dean of the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research; Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Planning and Assessment and the internal auditor.
Caspari Hall is adjacent to the Student Services Center that opened last year on the former site of West Caspari Hall. The first state-funded new building constructed on the Northwestern State campus in over 30 years, the 34,451 square-foot facility is home to the Offices of University Recruiting, Student Life and First Year Experience, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Undergraduate and International Admissions and Dean of Students as well as the Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office, Student Accounting and One Card Office.
Both buildings combined cost $12.1 million and were funded through $98.4 million in surplus funds from the 2007-08 budget year set aside by the governor and the state legislature. The money was specifically earmarked for construction projects at state colleges and universities and could not be used to compensate for budget shortfalls.