BATON ROUGE – The LSU Hilltop Arboretum, 11855 Highland Road, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m. in the arboretum’s Margaret Holmes Brown Pavilion for a $1.28 million expansion project.
The new educational 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 host 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.
A new courtyard designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of New York will anchor the education facility to the exiting 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 Friends of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum raised all funds for the expansion project through private donations.
The groundbreaking program will begin at 1 p.m. and feature remarks by Friends of Hilltop Arboretum President John Murrill, LSU System Interim President and LSU Interim Chancellor William Jenkins, LSU College of Art & Design Dean Alkis Tsolakis, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Director Bradley Cantrell and LSU Hilltop Arboretum Director Peggy Davis Coates.
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.