Breaking Ground on $110 Million Renovation and Expansion of Engineering Campus

November 17, 2014 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander and LSU College of Engineering Dean Rick Koubek joined honored guests to officially break ground on the $110 million renovation of Patrick F. Taylor Hall and construction of a chemical engineering addition. Once finished, the expanded facility will be one of the largest free-standing engineering buildings in the U.S.

“This is a great day for LSU and for our entire state,” said Jindal. “Since 2008, we have invested more than $700 million for critical higher education investments, including more than $150 million at LSU and in the Baton Rouge research community. We made this commitment to improve learning environments for students because we know our higher education system is critical in helping us ensure that we have a skilled workforce in Louisiana. This new engineering complex is a great example of one of these investments because, not only will it help us train our students for the great engineering and computer science careers in our state, it will also meet the workforce demands of our growing economy as more companies invest in Louisiana and create more jobs in the years ahead.”

Scheduled for completion in fall 2017, the total amount of academic space for the LSU College of Engineering impacted by this project will be 462,150 square feet.

“Thank you to Gov. Jindal, our state legislature, and all the donors who believed in LSU enough to make our new Engineering Complex a reality,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “We’re proud that the LSU College of Engineering is among the fastest growing engineering colleges in the nation. We are expecting to see an increase of more than 150,000 engineering jobs nationally by 2022, and this state-of-the-art facility and our expertly trained graduates are just a few examples of how LSU provides much-needed solutions for not only our state, but the nation's workforce and innovation needs.”

The new and renovated engineering complex will include expanded, modern laboratory space for teaching and translational research, a 250 seat auditorium, approximately 110,000 square feet of classrooms, a new student commons area, updated graduate student space, an academic support center, a dedicated capstone project space, and new labs including an interactive “classlab” and a sustainable living laboratory. The renovated facility will be connected to the chemical engineering addition by a continuous atrium, allowing students and visitors to observe teaching and research projects in action.

“On this historic day for the LSU College of Engineering, we break ground on the future of education and research,” said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering. “This new facility will not only provide a contemporary environment for computer scientists, construction managers and engineers to learn, it will inspire a culture of innovation among students and researchers working to solve the world's toughest engineering challenges. We thank the Jindal Administration, the state legislature, and the more than 500 alumni, donors and companies who helped to make this project a reality.”

Initiated by a public-private partnership, Governor Bobby Jindal announced his administration’s support of the College’s expansion with $50 million in capital outlay funding for the project on October 12, 2012, provided the College raised the remaining funds through private donations.

In response, the Breaking New Ground capital campaign was launched publicly on April 20, 2013, with a $15 million gift commitment from Phyllis M. Taylor to honor the legacy of Patrick F. Taylor.

In February 2014, LSU’s College of Engineering announced the successful completion of the most successful, short-term fundraising effort in the history of LSU. Finishing three months ahead of schedule, the Breaking New Ground capital campaign exemplified a record-breaking show of support by more than 500 individual and corporate donors who pledged $55 million in private funds to the LSU Foundation for the effort. Twenty of the gifts received were for $1 million or more.

Architectural firms Coleman Partners, in partnership with Perkins+Will, were selected to design the new home for LSU's engineering campus.

“The renovation of Patrick F. Taylor Hall is a total redefinition of a 1970's educational building into a student-centered educational facility,” said Dale M. Songy, architect, AIA, principal, Coleman Partners. “The exterior design references the Italian Renaissance architecture of Quadrangle, which will ultimately define the architecture of the future engineering campus.” 

LSU College of Engineering fall semester 2014 enrollment numbers totaled 5,606 for undergraduate and graduate students. Student interest is estimated to grow ten percent annually over the next three years, with and anticipated enrollment of 7,000 students by fall semester 2017. As part of a state-led initiative to grow the number of engineering, computer science and construction management professionals in Louisiana, the $110 million renovation and expansion will meet the growing student demand and future growth in LSU’s College of Engineering.

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Article by Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, 225-439-5633, mlavall@lsu.edu