The end of 2013 has brought one of the biggest announcements of the year, The Water Campus. Located on and around the old Municipal Dock near the Interstate 10 bridge and on the Riverfront, the campus will stretch east to Nicholson Drive. The Water Campus will be the economic and cultural southern anchor of downtown, while strengthening the connection to LSU. The Water Institute of the Gulf is an independent applied research organization focused on developing scientific coastal restoration solutions, and will begin construction within its 30 acre boundary in the first quarter of 2014. Construction of the three facilities totals a public/private investment of $50 million. These facilities will contain the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s offices, the Coastal Education and Research Facility’s public education exhibits, and the River Modeling Center’s dynamic Mississippi River simulator.
The announcement of The Water Campus is a reflection of the Baton Rouge’s vision for the redevelopment of the Mississippi Riverfront, illustrated in the recommendations of the Riverfront Master Plan, Plan Baton Rouge I and II, and FutureBR. Orchestrated by a unique collaboration involving the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF), the City of Baton Rouge, The Water Institute of the Gulf, Louisiana State University, and other coastal research institutes; this world-class coastal studies epicenter is anticipating over 2,000 occupants as well as international collaborations with other global water campuses.
“The Water Campus, IBM development, new housing and mixed use initiatives, and support service developments are a direct response to an increasing demand for urban opportunities in downtown. People want convenient access to a vibrant and active community; 2013 has been a testament to that.” – Davis Rhorer.