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Topping-Off Ceremony for Third Building at the $60 Million Urban Water Campus

New Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf Reach Construction Milestone

Before Ceremony SM

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Commissioner of Administration for the state of Louisiana, Jay Dardenne and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation President/CEO, John Davies were joined by Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome and Justin Ehrenwerth, CEO/President of The Water Institute of The Gulf, in a topping-off ceremony. Dignitaries and guests signed a piece of structural steel to be installed near the top of the third-floor Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf now under construction and slated for completion in December 2017.

watercampus 05 2017 01This event marks the third building on The Water Campus with two others set to break ground by year end. The 34,000 square-foot building designed by Coleman Partners and Perkins+Will, will consist of office space on the first and second floors while also housing an 8,000 square-foot conference center on the third floor. The conference center will be play host to academic conventions, research conferences, as well as serve as an event venue for corporate events and private receptions.

The Water Campus, currently a $60 million urban development in downtown Baton Rouge, is the home of the Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as well as the LSU Center for River Studies.

“Today’s topping-off ceremony fulfills another milestone in our commitment to position Louisiana as a leader in the coastal solutions water sector. The Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions will propel Louisiana onto the cutting-edge of coastal protection innovation, with Baton Rouge serving as a thriving landmark for major businesses and restoration projects,” said Davies.

The building is located on the old Baton Rouge Municipal Dock Property (approximately 11 acres) - constructed in 1926 for $550,000. It enabled ocean-going vessels to off-load heavy cargo onto barges for upriver transport, or to rail for inland shipment through Baton Rouge. With the construction of the port facility on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, the old City Dock was no longer in service by 1968.

watercampus 05 2017 02“This remarkable building on the bank of the Mississippi River represents an exciting future for The Water Institute of the Gulf. Together, we will move forward with restoring our coast while exporting the knowledge and science-based solutions developed in Louisiana to coastal and deltaic communities around the world,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. “This iconic building will not only serve as a landmark in Baton Rouge, but it will become a gathering point for experts from around the world.”

The Water Campus is a catalyst for development along the Nicholson Corridor between downtown and LSU. It will provide a strategic location for future interaction between both regional, national and international coastal, environmental and water-related stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, educational and research institutions and engineering, environmental, planning and consulting firms, as well as nonprofit advocates.

The Water Campus is a public and private partnership between the state of Louisiana, the city of Baton Rouge, LSU, and the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority along with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust which has extensive development, redevelopment and project management experience.


 About BRAF: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation: The Foundation is a community foundation with $626 million in assets. The Foundation connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of communities are met. After decades of providing the vision and the resources necessary to enhance the quality of life throughout south Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. Recognized for its work as an innovative problem solver and visionary, the Foundation and its partners, both public and private, have achieved a long and impressive list of accomplishments in urban revitalization, education, research, the arts, regional transportation and infrastructure improvement. For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit BRAF.org.

About CPRT: Commercial Properties Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. For more, visit CPRT.com.

About The Water Institute of the Gulf: The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. For more information, visit www.thewaterinstitute.org.

 

Ground Breaking of the New Water Institute of the Gulf Research and Conference Center

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and President and CEO Charles “Chip” Groat of The Water Institute of the Gulf joined Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, President and CEO John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and LSU President F. King Alexander in breaking ground for the construction of the $22.4 million Water Institute of the Gulf Research and Conference Center along the Mississippi River, between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU.

To be built at the site of Baton Rouge’s former municipal dock, the elevated three-story structure will extend over the river, providing a plaza surrounding the structure for unprecedented public viewing of the Mississippi River beyond the levee. The centerpiece of the structure will be The Water Institute of the Gulf, which will occupy offices on the first and second floors of the 34,000-square-foot structure. On the third floor, a major conference space will play host to academic conventions, research conferences and public meetings and hearings, all focused on the preservation of Louisiana’s coast, and related efforts worldwide. Applied research projects of the 4-year-old Water Institute of the Gulf are taking place on a global scale and will inform major public policy decisions and public works projects in Louisiana, along the Gulf Coast and around the world.

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The Water Institute headquarters joins two other facilities under construction nearby – the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority headquarters and the LSU Center for River Studies – as anchors of the 35-acre Water Campus that eventually will be home to an estimated 1.2 million square feet of commercial office, retail, restaurant, hospitality and residential space, along with an estimated 4,000 direct and indirect jobs between Nicholson Drive and the river.

Governor Jindal said, “Here at the foot of the Interstate 10 bridge on the Mississippi River, where millions of drivers pass each year, we are developing a world-class campus of water management research, development and project activity. This new Water Institute of the Gulf headquarters will serve as the centerpiece of our efforts to glean innovative new applications that can be put to work in the protection and restoration of Louisiana’s coastline. We will not only be providing invaluable assistance to our state, but we will become a magnet for water management research worldwide and we will lay the foundation, over the next two decades, for as many as 45,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the water management sector in our state. We’re proud that the collaboration of many partners has made this day possible, and that Louisiana will accomplish great environmental and economic advances because of the water management expertise being developed in our capital city.”

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Construction of the Water Institute headquarters will include vehicular and pedestrian pathways connecting the river facility to River Road and to LSU and downtown Baton Rouge via the existing Mississippi River levee trail. The design of the state-funded facility encourages collaboration of water management professionals across the Water Campus while also enabling the public to see and feel the river in a way they’ve never experienced before.

“Today is an exciting day for Louisiana and for our team at The Water Institute of the Gulf,” Groat said. “We believe our work is important because throughout the world, life happens at the water’s edge. We strive to conduct world-class applied research focused on sustaining the vitality of the world’s great coasts and deltas. Our roots are in Louisiana’s great delta and coast. We will be proud to carry out our mission from this iconic building on the edge of the mighty Mississippi. It’s a fitting home for the institute and we will work tirelessly to be a worthy tenant.”

Construction will be completed in the summer of 2017, when the Water Institute will move from its current office in downtown Baton Rouge to the new headquarters. Now employing 45 research scientists, engineers and technologists, the Water Institute will employ an estimated 55 people at the time of its 2017 move and plans to grow to more than 80 employees in the five years following the move.

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“I’ve worked with governors, mayors and legislators up and down the Mississippi River to sustain our river and coast, and what we have assembled on the Water Campus in Baton Rouge is unparalleled,” Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden said. “The Water Institute of the Gulf is the next step in Louisiana’s global leadership in coastal science and research, and there is much more to come.”

“We are excited to be a part of the Water Institute, an international research center on coastal issues housed right here in Baton Rouge,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Our LSU faculty and students look forward to working with researchers from around the world who come to the Water Institute to study and help solve the world’s growing coastal problems.”

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“The building will bring us back to where our city began,” said President and CEO John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. “And the scientists who work within it will offer solutions for a hopeful future, not only for the people living on our coast but also for the billions of people who live on or near water around the world.”

About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Water Institute of the Gulf is the Center of Excellence and a not-for-profit, independent research and technical services resource for resilient coasts and sustainable water systems worldwide. The work of the Institute helps ensure livable communities and a thriving economy and environment. For more information, visit TheWaterInstitute.org.

Media Contact:
Tina Rance
225.317.3021
trance@cprt.com

 

Governor Jindal and CPRA Highlight Groundbreaking of The Water Campus

Center for River Studies to Provide Venue for Multi-Discipline Collaboration and Coastal Research

February 12, 2015

IMG 0676BATON ROUGE — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, officials from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, LSU, the City of Baton Rouge, and the Water Institute participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for River Studies. The Center is the first building to begin construction on The Water Campus, a soon to be world-class research and engineering center in Baton Rouge that will serve as a hub for public, private, non-profit, and academic collaboration to develop innovative solutions for challenges facing coastal communities.

Governor Jindal said, "Today we're taking another step forward in making The Water Campus a reality. This project is a concept we joined together to announce just over a year ago. The creation of the Center for River Studies embodies the principles on which The Water Campus was founded, which are to equip our best and brightest with the skills they need to help us further our work to protect and restore our coast. This facility provides a venue for researchers, scientists, engineers, and citizens to work together to advance solutions to challenges facing coastal Louisiana. The work conducted at this Center will generate scientific strategies that will protect our coastal communities and help us preserve coastal Louisiana for our children and generations to come."

The Center for River Studies will house the Expanded Small Scale Physical Model, one of the largest moving bed physical models in the world. Measuring 90 feet by 120 feet, this state-of-the-art model is based on exact parameters of the river's physical and kinetic properties, producing a degree of accuracy never before achieved in lower-river physical modeling. Designed to simulate the Mississippi River's depth, sediment, and flow, the physical model will be used in conjunction with computer modeling to make informed decisions about the best way to sustain coastal Louisiana.

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The Center will also include an interactive exhibit center focused on the achievements and advancements of the coastal program. In addition to showcasing actual projects, the center will highlight the robust science, tools, and community of knowledge and experience supporting the continued growth and development of Louisiana's coastal program.

Kyle Graham, executive director of the CPRA said, "The sustainability of our coast depends upon the efficient utilization of our natural resources.  Over the past 5 years we have spent more than $350 million actively mining material from the Mississippi River to construct wetlands and barrier islands.  Expanding our knowledge on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the resources of the Mississippi River is critical to our success.  The Center for River Studies will be a state of the art facility through which we can expand our knowledge of the river system, explore project concepts and educate stakeholders."

"We are pleased to partner with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on this important facility, which serves as a training ground for the next generation of coastal scientists and engineers," said LSU President F. King Alexander. "As Louisiana's flagship university, we continue to look for ways that academics and the public and private sectors can come together on projects that better our state, and helping to solve coastal erosion issues for South Louisiana is one of the most important research endeavors in which our faculty and students can be involved."

The state CPRA led the planning and design effort and is funding construction of the model and facility with $16 million of Coastal Impact Assistance Program funds. Upon completion, the facility will be donated to LSU which will operate the model with funding from CPRA. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and its real estate entity, Commercial Properties Realty Trust, are the developers of The Water Campus, which will eventually include a multitude of buildings and research facilities working in the fields of coastal restoration and protection and other water-related issues.

IMG 0673Mayor-President Kip Holden said, "As Mayor of a Mississippi River city, I have been actively working with groups like the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the America's Wetland Foundation to assure our river is healthy and sustainable for generations to come. The work produced by LSU at this new center will not only help save our coast and secure Louisiana's economic future, it will position Baton Rouge as a world leader in coastal and river science and research."

The Center for River Studies is the first facility to break ground on The Water Campus, a $45 million 33-acre development funded through a partnership between the State of Louisiana, the City of Baton Rouge, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

BRAF President John Davies said, "The river model signals the beginning of a gathering place that will enable scientists to think about and solve the most difficult questions facing policymakers in deltas around the world. And for Baton Rouge, we expect this space to spark redevelopment up and down Nicholson Drive."

The initial phase of The Water Campus' development will include three additional facilities: an office building to house CPRA, a multi-tenant office building, and a new education and research center on the old Baton Rouge Municipal dock that will serve as the home of The Water Institute of the Gulf.

"This is an exciting step in the development of the Water Campus," said Chip Groat, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. "We look forward to the day that we will be able to actively collaborate with researchers from universities across the state as well as nationally and internationally known researchers who will want to be a part of the exciting work taking place on the campus."

Developing over the next decade, the campus will expand to foster an integrated community focused on researching, engineering, and implementing solutions that will help secure the future of coastal Louisiana. The campus will provide an opportunity for multiple disciplines to unify their efforts and develop coastal knowledge and expertise that can be exported to other coastal communities around the world.

Water Campus Releases Renderings of New Building on City Dock

Iconic building will be home to The Water Institute of the Gulf Headquarters, Research & Interpretive Center 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 31, 2015 For more information contact:
Tina Rance, Marketing Director, 225.317.3021, trance@cprt.com

Baton Rouge, LA. – The Water Campus released the first images of the new The Water Institute of the Gulf’s Headquarters, Research and Interpretive Center today. Louisiana-based Coleman Partners Architects LLC and global architect firm Perkins+Will have collaborated with Water Campus stakeholders to design the iconic building that will be constructed on the old city dock at the new, innovative Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge. Construction will begin later this year with completion expected in July 2017.

The building will be headquarters for The Water Institute of the Gulf, and a research and interpretive center. It will be located on the historical Baton Rouge City Dock that was completed in 1926. The 33,000-square-foot, $22-million building will consist of an interpretive gallery, exhibit areas, offices, research labs and meeting and conference facilities. The building will be situated on the dock in a way that continues the long history of Baton Rouge business and culture existing along the banks of the Mississippi River.

“The design team is excited by the possibilities offered by this particular site. Not only will we be able to meet all of the programmatic requirements of The Water Institute, but we will be able to do so on a site like no other in the city,” said Buddy Ragland, principal at Coleman Partners. The architect’s design considerations include the ability to express the overall mission of The Water Institute of The Gulf and embraces the Mississippi River as its leading design component and reflects the ecologically sensitive nature of the project and its unique site. “This building will be a world-class facility that Louisiana will be proud of,” said Chip Groat, president and CEO of The Water Institute. “We continue to work diligently every day with our team and partners to build a world-class applied research organization worthy of calling such an iconic building home.”

Other local projects by the Coleman Partners/Perkins+Will team include renovation and additions to Patrick Taylor Hall for LSU’s highly-ranked College of Engineering. Coleman Partners has an extensive history of working in Baton Rouge and specifically with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is very familiar with the challenges of working in and on the Mississippi River. Perkins+Will is part of a national planning, architecture and interior design firm founded in 1935, with particular experience in the design and construction of headquarters, interpretive spaces, and science and technology parks.
At the Water Campus off Nicholson Drive, construction has begun on the $20-million building for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to house its team of over 160 administrators, scientists, technicians and office support staff. CPRA is the agency charged with implementing the state’s $50 billion comprehensive master plan for a sustainable coast.

Construction has also begun on the Center for River Studies by LSU and CPRA. This 50,000-square-foot, small-scale model of the Mississippi River will allow for the study of all facets of ground and water behavior. It will be the one of the largest, most-dynamic models in the world.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has taken the leadership role in master planning the Water Campus. Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the real estate arm of the Foundation, will develop and manage the campus. When fully built out, the urban, riverside campus will include more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space on about 33 acres, and house 2,000 occupants who will inspire international collaboration with other global water campuses and universities.

Coleman Partners Architects, LLC. is serving as Architect of Record and Perkins + Will is serving as our Associated Architect for Design. For more information please visit: www.cparch.com www.perkinswill.com

About The Water Institute of the Gulf: The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. For more information, visit www.thewaterinstitute.org.

About The Water Campus: The Water Campus promotes an environment of shared resources and relationships creating a new knowledge economy targeted at attracting a wide range of partners and potential tenants to facilitate the development of the Campus and advance the study and applied science of water research for the international community. This presents a unique and compelling opportunity to assert a prominent global role for the city of Baton Rouge, the State of Louisiana and all Campus partners in addressing the critical issues the world faces around water. For more information, visit www.thewatercampus.org

About The Baton Rouge Area Foundation: The Foundation is a community foundation with $608 million in assets. The Foundation connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of communities are met. After decades of providing the vision and the resources necessary to enhance the quality of life throughout south Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. Recognized for its work as an innovative problem solver and visionary, the Foundation and its partners, both public and private, have achieved a long and impressive list of accomplishments in urban revitalization, education, research, the arts, regional transportation and infrastructure improvement. For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit www.BRAF.org.

About Commercial Properties Realty Trust: CPRT is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. For more, visit www.CPRT.com

 

ARCHITECTS SELECTED FOR INITIAL WATER CAMPUS BUILDING

Iconic Building will be home to the Water Institute of the Gulf Headquarters, Research & Interpretive Center

Baton Rouge, LA. – Louisiana-based Coleman Partners and global architect firm Perkins+Will have been chosen to design the first building on the new innovative Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge. Coleman & Partners and Perkins+Will were among four final teams that recently presented to a selection committee chosen by The Water Campus, LLC. The panel consisted of architects, contractors, scientists, engineers, planners, and CEO's of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust.

The building will be headquarters for the Water Institute of the Gulf, and a research and interpretive center. It will be located on the historical Baton Rouge City Dock that was completed in 1926. The approximate 45,000-square-foot, $20-million building will consist of an interpretive gallery, exhibit areas, offices, research labs and meeting and conference facilities. The building will be situated on the dock in a way that continues the long history of Baton Rouge business and culture existing along the banks of the Mississippi River.

"It's an honor for Coleman Partners Architects LLC/Perkins+Will to have been chose for this project. Not only will this project be transformative for the skyline of Baton Rouge, but this building will enhance the efforts of the Water Institute of the Gulf to meet its mission to research, restore and enhance our coastal environments" said Buddy Ragland, principal at Coleman Partners Architects LLC. The panel's design considerations included the ability to express the overall mission of the Water Institute of The Gulf and embrace the Mississippi River as its leading design component, project budget, operational efficiencies, sustainable design that reflects the ecologically sensitive nature of the project and its unique site.

Other local projects by the Coleman Partners/Perkins+Will team include renovation and additions to Patrick Taylor Hall for LSU's highly-ranked College of Engineering. Coleman Partners has an extensive history of working in Baton Rouge and specifically with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is very familiar with the challenges of working in and on the Mississippi River. Perkins+Will is part of a national planning, architecture and interior design firm founded in 1935, with particular experience in the design and construction of headquarters, interpretive spaces, and science and technology parks.

"The building on the dock will return Baton Rouge to the riverfront, extend the revival of downtown to the Nicholson corridor and be an emblem for the future of our region," said John Davies, president & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The construction will begin later this year along with a 50,000-square-foot, approximate $20-million building for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to house its 165 strong team of administrators, scientists, technicians, and office support staff. CPRA is the agency charged with implementing the state's $50 billion coastal plan.

Also under construction this year will be the River Modeling Center by LSU and CPRA. This 50,000-square-foot, small-scale model of the Mississippi River will allow for the study of all facets of ground and water behavior. It will be the one of the largest, most dynamic models in the world.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has taken the leadership role in master planning the campus. Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the real estate arm of the Foundation, will develop and manage the campus. When fully built out, the urban, riverside campus will have more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space on approximately 33 acres, and house 2,000 occupants who will inspire international collaboration with other global water campuses and universities.

For more information please visit: www.cparch.com

About The Water Institute of the Gulf: The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society.

For more information, visit www.thewaterinstitute.org.

About The Baton Rouge Area Foundation: The Foundation is a community foundation with $608 million in assets. The Foundation connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of communities are met. After decades of providing the vision and the resources necessary to enhance the quality of life throughout south Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. Recognized for its work as an innovative problem solver and visionary, the Foundation and its partners, both public and private, have achieved a long and impressive list of accomplishments in urban revitalization, education, research, the arts, regional transportation and infrastructure improvement.

For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit www.braf.org

About Commercial Properties Realty Trust: CPRT is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas.

For more about Commercial Properties Realty Trust: CPRT, visit www.cprt.org