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Economic Development, Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information, Media Advisory

LSU Hilltop Arboretum to Host Ribbon Cutting Oct. 17 for New $1.28 Million Expansion

10/14/2013 02:24 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Hilltop Arboretum will hold a ribbon cutting and open house for a $1.28 million expansion project constructed by Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6-8 p.m.


The Imogene Newsom Brown Education Facility will be the first LSU building to be registered with the U. S. Green Building Council for possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification. It will play host to educational and fundraising events and will be the final piece of a 1999 building plan that includes the existing administrative building, library and open-air pavilion designed by award-winning Lake Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas.  


The Bert Turner Courtyard designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of New York will anchor the education facility, including the new Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium, to the existing open-air pavilion. The courtyard will provide an important demonstration for best-practices for developing outdoor living space that extends the indoor space into the landscape, and works in concert with natural systems to utilize water and plant resources in a sustainable way. The 2,050-square-foot auditorium with a warming kitchen, more than doubles the existing capacity for activities.


The Friends of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum raised all funds for the expansion project through private donations.  


The ribbon cutting and open house will commence after a brief program at 6 p.m. that will feature remarks by John Murrill, president of Friends of Hilltop Arboretum; Ted Flato, principal at Lake Flato Architects; Stuart Bell, LSU executive vice chancellor and provost; Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the LSU College of Art & Design; Bradley Cantrell, director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture; and Peggy Davis Coates, director of  LSU Hilltop Arboretum.


The LSU Hilltop Arboretum strives to be a nationally recognized center for the study of plants and landscape design.  The 14-acre nature preserve is noted for its collection of more than 150 species of plants native to Louisiana, its unique topography, and its reputation as a readily accessible space where people can experience and learn about nature, plants and the Louisiana landscape. The arboretum is open to the public free of charge during daylight hours seven days a week. To learn more about LSU Hilltop Arboretum, contact the office at 225-767-6916 Tuesday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., or visit





Contact Peggy Davis Coates
LSU Hilltop Arboretum


Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations