NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) - Students at Northwestern State University headed back to school this week and walked on campus to see some new changes.
The university has been making upgrades and improvements to their campuses this summer. Over at the Natchitoches campus, students can see the new Northwestern State Marketplace that will house an updated and expanded bookstore and a Chick-Fil-A.
The campus also has two smart classrooms complete with brand new technology and movable desks. The tennis courts have been redone and a new elevator is being installed in the Teacher Education Center.
Over on the Shreveport campus, work has been done to the nursing labs and the library will be getting some new renovations soon.
"We're taking everything we can, (and) we're looking at every possible avenue to get revenue and we're finding a very creative way to do that," said Drake Owens with the NSU Foundation.
The foundation has been investing money into the new library renovations and other projects around campus, and projects are also being funded with private money from alumni.
"As we do these projects, you'll see enrollment continue to increase," Owens said. "You'll see retention rates go up here at Northwestern, and the more that happens the more revenue that is going back into the school to invest in future projects."
Students like Karl Marzhal are happy with the renovations and changes especially over at the bookstore.
"I really like it," he said. "The design is a lot better than the old bookstore. (It's) a lot more expansive, (and) we have a lot more selection with merchandise regarding the university."
Marzhal also believes the new Chick-Fil-A will be a big hit with students.
"It really expands the amount of variety of food that you can get here," he said. "It's right next to the bookstore so it makes it easy."
Student Valerie Chadick is also excited about the new changes and likes what the university is doing.
"I feel like NSU is really upping its game," she said.
The Chick-Fil-A is expected to be completed by mid to late October.
Owens says in the next few years they plan to work on bigger projects and want to start adding more development along the main corridor of the Natchitoches campus.