Technology center to emerge from barn site

Linda Benedict  |  2/16/2010 3:24:36 AM

Groundbreaking for the Louisiana Emerging Technologies Center will be sometime in June, with completion expected the following spring, said Paula Jacobi, CEO of the LSU System Research and Technology Foundation, which will oversee the center.

The center, which will be an incubator for start-up technology companies, will be built on the site of old, leaky barns that once housed the LSU AgCenter’s annual state livestock show. After nearly 70 years on the LSU campus, that show was moved in February 2004 to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La.

“This is what visitors will see when they enter campus from the east,” Jacobi said of the three-story building, designed in the Italian renaissance style of the LSU Master Plan. The lead designer is Dale Songy of Coleman & Partners of Baton Rouge,

The Louisiana Emerging Technologies Center will house the offices of the foundation as well the center. Jacobi said an executive director for the center should be hired within the next few months.

The center will provide offices, conference rooms, laboratory space and equipment for newly formed technology companies. The first tenant will be TransGenRx, a new company that has licensed technology from the LSU AgCenter to produce protein products in chicken eggs.

“The companies will be here temporarily until they expand and have enough money to move into larger facilities,” Jacobi said.

The LSU Master Plan calls for a reconfigured intersection at the site, which is at East Parker and West Lakeshore. A proposal under consideration is for this intersection to become a major gateway to campus. This new entry would be called the East Gate to complement the North Gate and South Gate, which are the other main approaches to campus.

Linda Foster Benedict

(This article appeared in the spring 2004 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

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