The LSU Hilltop Arboretum held a ribbon cutting and open house for a $1.28 million expansion project constructed by Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge on October 17, 2013.
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 (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 Architectes of New York will anchor the education facility, including the 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 Hilltop Arboretum raised all funds for the expansion project through private donations.
The ribbon cutting and open house commenced after a brief program that featured remarks by John Murrill, president of the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum; Ted Flato, principal of Lake Flato Architects; Stuart Bell, PhD, executive vice chancellor and provost at LSU; Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the LSU College of Art + Design; Bradley Cantrell, associate professor and director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture; and Peggy Davis Coates, director of LSU Hilltop Arboretum.
About 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. Visit hilltop.lsu.edu for more information.