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.

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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.

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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

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