STEM Win: LSU Breaks Ground on Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building

March 15, 2024

$148 Million, 4-Story Facility Slated to Open in Fall 2025

BATON ROUGE – LSU broke ground today on the Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building, having achieved a $148 million funding goal to expand research and teaching laboratories in science fields.

Once constructed, the new building will be a nearly 200,000-square-foot, four-story epicenter for academics, research and industry collaboration and able to accommodate as many as 1,150 students, faculty and researchers at a time. The facility will be located at the corner of South Stadium Drive and Tower Drive on LSU’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, with a projected opening of late fall 2025. The new building was designed by EskewDumezRipple and will be constructed by MAPP.

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Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building rendering

The premier facility is the university’s top capital priority for catalyzing its vision for the future of STEM education, research and impact. Led by a $15 million investment from Our Lady of the Lake Health and a $10 million investment from LCMC Health, LSU donors contributed $43 million and the State of Louisiana directed $105 million in funding to the project.

“The LSU Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building represents a major step toward achieving our vision for the future of STEM education, research and discovery,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “Our scientists and mathematicians seek excellence, but we cannot grow our research impact or scale best practices in STEM pedagogy for students without elevating our infrastructure. I am excited that our students will have a gold standard facility to support their intellectual curiosity and academic growth. This building furthers our aim to increase the pipeline for recruiting top students and faculty, scholars who will make discoveries and create solutions that positively influence the quality of life of Louisianans and advance economic impact in Louisiana and nationwide.”

President William F. Tate IV speaks at science builidng groundbreaking ceremony

Amidst growing national demand for STEM graduates, the LSU College of Science has experienced five consecutive years of enrollment growth. Additionally, the college’s faculty teach students in every major, accounting for almost one-quarter of all student credit hours at LSU and roughly one-third of total instruction for freshmen and sophomore students.

“Our Lady of the Lake and our Championship Health Partners at LSU are committed to improving the health outcomes of our state, and interdisciplinary sciences are a key component in achieving that goal,” said Chuck Spicer, Our Lady of the Lake Health President. “I hope our commitment will serve as representation of our partnership, training the next generation of healthcare providers, scientists and state leaders while serving as a catalyst for truly influential change.”

The Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building will support five focus disciplines: biological sciences, chemistry, geology and geophysics, mathematics and physics and astronomy. The building will increase the college’s lab space, accelerating the timeline to graduation for students in highly sought-after STEM fields, and will include technology-rich active learning classrooms, formal and informal collaborative workspaces, and a dedicated interdisciplinary research institute.

Crucial to LSU’s bold, solutions-focused research goals, the Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building will be a central hub for LSU faculty and students across science disciplines to collaborate on nearly $37 million in annual research awards. Every dollar of LSU research produces approximately $2.91 within Louisiana; each year, the College of Science’s research has an economic impact of more than $100 million for the state of Louisiana alone. The economic impact of the college’s research activity will surpass the cost of construction in just the first 18 months.

LSU Science Building groundbreaking ceremony

“With the generous support of our donors and the investment of the State of Louisiana, we are poised and ready to catalyze STEM transformation in Louisiana,” said College of Science Dean Cynthia Peterson. “This innovative space will be a world-class waypoint for scientific inquiry, discovery and collaboration at Louisiana’s flagship university and with community partners. Within this premier facility, we will prepare the next generation of doctors, data scientists, engineers, scientists and technologists to lead the future of critical industries like healthcare and energy.”

The College of Science elevates quality of life for every Louisianan through research that drives the economy, programs that improve children’s access to stellar STEM education, and preparation of Louisiana communities’ future doctors and health professionals – including by serving as a springboard for more than half of Louisiana’s physicians. Importantly, the Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building will widen the instructional pipeline for those wanting to fill the state’s health workforce shortages.

Our Lady of the Lake Health’s and LCMC Health’s catalytic investments in the building are part of a $245 million healthcare partnership announced in February 2022. Longtime industry partner Shell USA, Inc. committed $2.5 million to the project as part of a $27.5 million investment in energy-related initiatives at LSU. Fellow leadership donors to the building are LSU alumni and LSU Foundation Board of Directors members Dr. Mary Neal and husband Ron, Frank W. “Billy” Harrison III and wife Ann, and Clarence P. Cazalot Jr. and wife Ann, all of Houston. They are joined by LSU alumni Roy O. Martin III and wife Kathy Kilpatrick Martin of Alexandria, La.

The Neals, whose leadership gift of $5 million marked the first donation to the project, said, “We are very proud to support LSU’s continued excellence in educating future scientists and healthcare professionals and its important focus on research that is relevant and practical. The College of Science has a vital role in improving outcomes for the citizens of Louisiana, our country and potentially the entire world.”

The full scope of the project includes demolition of the LSU Dairy Store, which will be housed within the new building, and renovation of the nearby LSU AgCenter Animal & Food Sciences Laboratory Building; that demolition and renovation are complete.

The Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building will yield outcomes that advance LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda, which aligns core areas of strength and potential strength with Louisiana’s most important challenges and opportunities. For additional information and ongoing updates on the building, please visit

LSU Science Building groundbreaking

– Photo credit: Eddy Perez, LSU Office of Communications & University Relations