LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - You may have noticed construction going on next to Cowboy Stadium.
It's for McNeese State University's new Health and Human Performance Education Complex.
The progress is evident in front of Jack Doland Field house, where the facility is currently being built.
"It's our new Health and Human Performance Education Complex. It's a new facility that's going to have both the Health and Human Performance curriculum in there, as well as some sporting facilities. And we're just very excited about it. It's a good opportunity for us," said Richard Rhoden, director of facilities and plant operations.
Rhoden said total construction costs are about $36 million, which is being funded entirely through capital outlay, state appropriations, and private donations.
The facility is a lot closer for McNeese students who've previously said it's tough going all the way out to Burton Coliseum for games and other events.
Rhoden hopes the closer facility will boost attendance.
"It is going to be a good opportunity particularly for our students who reside on campus, who may not have the ability to travel. It's within walking distance now," said Rhoden.
At 145,000 square feet, the sports arena will be the biggest portion.
"It will hold 4,200 fans in the facility. There will be a separate facility for both volleyball and practice which will hold another 600 fans in there," explained Rhoden.
He said the complex will also include offices and classroom space.
"This does give us an opportunity to expand on our existing academic programs and sports management, health and human performance, athletic training. And it actually gives us the potential for expanding programs into the physical therapy area as well," said Rhoden.
Physical therapy is an area Rhoden said is growing.
"That's an area of the campus that enrollment has increased over the last several years," said Rhoden.
Alfred Palma, LLC is the contractor. Rhoden estimates the facility to be completed by the summer of 2018.?
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