LSU Hilltop Arboretum to host ribbon cutting today for new $1.28 million expansion

LSU Hilltop Arboretum to host ribbon cutting today for new $1.28 million expansion
Photo provided by LSU Media Relations

POSTED: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 6:04am

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 and Design; Bradley Cantrell, director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture; and Peggy Davis Coates, director of LSU Hilltop Arboretum.

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