The University’s largest building — the College of Engineering’s Patrick F. Taylor Hall — will be expanded and renovated by fall 2016, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced in a news conference Tuesday.
The renovations will be funded by a $100 million public and private partnership — $50 million from state funds and $50 million from private and other funding sources through the University.
So far, the college has raised $8 million for the project, Jindal said.
Architectural design for the building is slated to start in December. Construction should start in fall 2014, and the building should be finished in fall 2016.
The building is “in need of repair,” Jindal said, and he called the project a “win-win” for students and the economy.
He added that engineering and computer science are growing fields across the country, and the college will have to increase graduates by 150 to 200 per year to meet Louisiana’s demands.
“Together, we are witness to Louisiana’s latest engineering revolution,” said College of Engineering Dean Richard Koubek.
Koubek boasted the college’s success, citing that 95 percent of engineering graduates at the University found jobs last year.
The College of Engineering graduates about 560 students a year, Jindal said.
Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins said the renovated building is a “truly transformational event in LSU’s history.”
“We have to focus on our strengths as we invest in the engineering college,” he said.
Jenkins called the partnership “crucial,” adding that the University has become co-dependent.
“In order to fund small capital projects, the University now has to look toward public-private partnerships,” said Lee Griffin, CEO and president of the LSU Foundation, at Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.
Petroleum engineering senior Joseph D’Aquin said renovations to the building will be good for students, especially in his concentration.
“The petroleum department is very small, so an expansion could help us have more tools to work with and learn with,” he said.
He added that some parts of the building seem old and need repairs.
The University entered a similar relationship with the state to construct the Business Education Complex, which opened this semester. That agreement promised $30 million in funding from the state if the University could match it.
The opening transitioned the E.J. Ourso College of Business out of Patrick F. Taylor Hall, allowing engineering to take over the entire building.