LSU launches effort to renovate the Middleton library

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 9:41 PM CDT
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Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU leaders have launched a fundraising effort to renovate the Middleton Library.

A central piece of the LSU landscape, the Middleton Library has seen better days and students say the move is past due.

Jason Badeaux, LSU's student government president, says the renovation project is something that is much needed for a building that is a focal point of the university.

"The library is one of the few buildings, besides maybe the student union, that every student on campus walks into and uses and uses regularly," Badeaux said.

Built in 1959, the nearly 60-year-old structure is set to undergo a major facelift over the next three years. The roughly $8.5 million investment will transform the space and launch it into the 21st century.

"The first floor is the center of the collaboration and the study area for our students and so this is the place that we want to get started," said Rick Koubek, provost and executive vice-president at LSU.

The ambitious plans include new concourses, a 24-hour state of the art cafe and bistro, private study areas, and more. Senior electrical engineering major, Charles Graham, says the most exciting part of the plan is the focus on new technology.

"There are certain computer areas over here that are not working or they're down for some reason that need some type of maintenance," Graham added.

School leaders say it will take roughly a year to raise the funds necessary for the renovation but in the end, they hope it is something all students can be proud of and enjoy.

"LSU is working to put the very best facilities in place at the flagship institution and while we have some areas that are very good, we still have some on the to-do list. This is one of them," Koubek said.

Governor John Bel Edwards and a host of state lawmakers toured the facility Thursday. Edwards says while the state recently made the lowest cut to higher education in nearly a decade, there is still work to be done.

"We cannot pretend that we can always do more with less because when that's the route that you're on for too long this is what you end up with," Edwards said.

School leaders say construction is set to be finished by 2020.

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