A groundbreaking ceremony for the LSU Business Education Complex took place on Friday, March 19. Guests included Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, LSU Chancellor Michael Martin, LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget and E. J. Ourso College Dean Eli Jones.

Construction Commences on LSU Business Education Complex

During a memorable groundbreaking ceremony attended by a large crowd of guests, including dignitaries such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, LSU Chancellor Michael Martin and LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget, the LSU Business Education Complex, or BEC – the future home of the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business – moved one step closer to completion.

Hosted by Martin and E. J. Ourso College Dean Eli Jones, the event took place in the parking lot east of Patrick F. Taylor Hall and will certainly be remembered as one of the highlights of the university’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration.

“We made this historic investment because it was a tremendous step to strengthen the future of our flagship university,” Jindal said. “Indeed, this groundbreaking marks an important commitment to helping LSU develop into a highly competitive institution rivaling the very best universities in the world. This project is truly a partnership between the private sector and the public sector – and it demonstrates our shared vision of producing first-class entrepreneurs of the next generation right here in Louisiana.”

Gov. Jindal with students
Governor Bobby Jindal, LSU Student Body President Stuart Watkins break ground with other students.

In November 2009, Jindal announced the state’s commitment of $30 million in capital outlay funds for the BEC, which immediately authorized the opening of the construction bid process. The winning bid was submitted by the Lemoine Company LLC, which counts the Cox Communications Center for Student Athletes on LSU’s campus and the LSU Museum of Art in downtown Baton Rouge among its many construction projects. Lemoine took over the BEC site March 1. The BEC will comprise a four-story rotunda, two banks of pavilions housing classrooms and departmental offices and a structure featuring an auditorium and graduate classrooms.

“This collaborative effort with the state is a perfect example of how LSU and the Legislature can support one another,” Martin said. “For the past few decades, the university has delivered on its promise to the state to gain national prominence. Building the Business Education Complex and continuing to educate tomorrow’s business and industry leaders with as many advantages as possible is our next promise.”

According to Martin, today’s event is due in large part to the “generosity and persistence of many donors.”

“We all owe them a resounding, ‘Thank you!’” Martin said.

Jones lauded Jimmy Maurin of Stirling Properties Inc. and Bill Slaughter of SSA Consultants Inc. as the co-chairs of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, or DAC, Louisiana Business Building Oversight Committee.

“The leadership of Jimmy and Bill throughout this entire process has been exemplary,” Jones said. “It is a reflection of what we have seen throughout the DAC membership in regards to the BEC, and I am grateful for their assistance in making sure this project was green lit. We still have a ways to go as far as fundraising for the BEC is concerned, but we are certainly nearing the point where the premier business education facility in which faculty will teach and conduct research and tomorrow’s business leaders will learn is within sight.”

Jones also advised that a construction camera will soon be available via the E. J. Ourso College’s Web site to follow the progress of the BEC until the anticipated completion date of spring 2012.

To view the floor plans for the BEC, or to make a donation, visit www.bus.lsu.edu/building.  

Support for the E.J. Ourso College of Business and the new Business Education Complex helps LSU achieve the goals of the university-wide Forever LSU campaign, an historic undertaking by LSU to attain more than $750 million in support for the university by the end of the year 2010.  To find out how to join the campaign for LSU’s future, visit www.foreverlsu.org.

Tim Rodrigue | Asst. Director | E.J. Ourso College of Business
March 2010