Take a sneak peek inside the LSU Center for River Studies before it opens next month
Located at The Water Campus, the LSU Center for River Studies spans more than 45,500-square-feet, including nearly 10,000 square feet of interactive educational exhibits.
LSU Center for River Studies
100 Terrace Ave.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM MUELLER
Architect: Mougeot Architecture
Owner: Partnership between LSU and Coastal Protection Restoration Authority
Contractor: Stuart & Co. General Contractors
Cost: $18 million
Completed: February 2018
Use: Research and education facility
Form follows function: “This state-of-the-art facility is a comprehensive, integrated physical modeling center that will serve both as a research hub for study of the lower Mississippi River and as an educational facility. The model will provide visual calibration and validation of complex computer models, and will directly facilitate CPRA’s mission and our state Coastal Master Plan. This is a unique collaboration. CPRA is paying for all of the design, construction and construction management, and we will maintain ownership of what’s inside the building—the river model, the exhibits, and all audio/visual equipment—but we will donate the building itself to LSU.”
—CPRA Executive Director Michael Ellis
The centerpiece of the center is the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model, a 120-by-90-foot changing floor model of the lower river system, incorporating 179 miles from Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico. By running water and a silt-like substance through the 10,000-square-foot model—one the world’s largest—engineers and researchers can analyze the most pressing environmental issues. Twenty high-definition projectors illuminate the model to bring the river and coast to life.
While primarily a research facility to develop knowledge that can be exported to other coastal communities around the world, the center also contains an interactive coastal exhibit area featuring seven distinct coastal-related educational themes for students and visitors.
The center is on schedule to open in February, with tours for students and academic groups expected to begin this spring.