After being in the works for almost a decade, the renovations of East and West Laville Hall are nearing completion.
“We’re really excited about this,” said Steve Waller, who served as Associate Director of Residential Life from 1997 to 2007 and is currently Director of Residential Life. “We’ve been in a partnership with the Honors College on this renovation, and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to fruition … I think that’ll be very exciting for the Honors College and for Residential Life.”
Laville Hall, home of the Honors House, was built in 1949 and had the annexes added in 1956. The hall was named for Corporal Germaine Laville, an LSU alumna and Marine who died during World War II while rescuing another Marine from a burning classroom.
The renovations were done in two phases, beginning in 2008 with the renovation of West Laville, which opened last fall. Currently, the renovation of East Laville is underway and will be complete for the hall’s reopening next fall.
“The bottom line is that the projects basically included a complete upgrade of the two buildings” Waller said.
All of the rooms and hallways are being refurbished with new paint, new flooring, energy-efficient lighting, and new furniture, while both elevators are being replaced.
Both East and West Laville will feature new windows, new roofs, upgraded bathrooms, and individual air conditioning units in each room. Each of the residence halls will also feature quiet study space and lounge space on each floor, carpeted hallways, a game room, a computer lab, and a central kitchen.
Once the extensive renovation project is complete, the two buildings will be connected by a shared lobby facing a brand-new patio courtyard housing a bronze bust of Corporal Laville.
The second floor of the central lobby will be an apartment for a Faculty-in-Residence, allowing students to get to know professors outside of the classroom.
“The Faculty-in-Residence program brings faculty to the students and allows for more interaction between them,” said Waller. “Most of the mature, developed residential college programs have a Faculty-in-Residence; we’ve had it on our list of things we’ve wanted for years.”
Waller, who is responsible for the administration and supervision of all housing operations within campus apartments and residence halls, works directly with leaders from the Residential Hall Association to get student input about Residential Life. He said that living on campus benefits students in many ways and enhances their LSU experience.
“Students who live on campus do better academically than students who live off campus,” he said. “The advantage of living on campus is that it basically creates that small college atmosphere within the larger community of LSU. You’re not just one of 28,000 students trying to find your way on campus — you’re a resident of the Honors House.”
Waller said that other benefits of living in Laville Hall include its close proximity to the French House (where many Honors classes are held), the availability of Honors programs within the residence hall, and the fact that it’s only a three-minute walk away from the Quad.
“We’ve created a little niche within the larger LSU campus for the Honors College and the Honors House to bring the two together,” he said. “We’ve really made it a whole lot easier for students to feel comfortable and become engaged in the Honors community.”
Story by Elizabeth Clausen, LSU Honors College
For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831