Governor Bobby Jindal cut the ribbon today on LSU's new Chemistry and Materials Science Building. The Jindal Administration invested nearly $34 million to build the new facility.
Governor Jindal said, "This 85,000 square-foot facility will expand the university's research capacity in synthetic chemistry and provide critical facilities for research in materials science and engineering. This new facility will provide a world-class learning and teaching environment that will draw students, faculty and researchers from Louisiana and around the world. Indeed, research conducted in this new facility will have real-world applications in our state, and will be applied to manufacturing techniques, healthcare and energy production. This new facility will play a critical role in helping our chemical and engineering students get the world-class skills they need to find great jobs. That in turn will make Louisiana even more attractive to companies looking to invest, expand and create jobs here in Louisiana."
The Governor added, "Louisiana's chemical industry employs approximately 30,000 people. With the pipeline of major petrochemical projects in play for Louisiana, we expect to need even more high-quality chemists, researchers, and engineers to sustain and grow this industry. Major investments by global companies, including Methanex, Dyno Nobel, Dow, ExxonMobil, and BASF, have selected Louisiana for major projects, and it's critical that our universities produce a qualified workforce for this growing industry. This new building will be a major driver to help produce more folks who can work in our state's chemical industry. The bottom line is that this investment will help keep more of our sons and daughters here at home who want to pursue careers in the chemical industry, and it will make our state even more attractive for companies who want to invest, expand and create jobs."
The building has 140 work areas for faculty, and expands LSU's chemistry department space by 50 percent and the total research space by 63 percent. The bottom floor of the new building will house major instrumentation to support materials science, chemistry, and other science-engineering areas. The facility will also feature two multipurpose laboratories that will be used for general holding instruments and faculty research. Six large six-person synthetic labs will occupy the center of the building and feature shared student office space in front of each lab.
Since 2008, Governor Jindal has supported nearly $700 million dollars in funding for higher education infrastructure investments across the state. This total includes more than $200 million in funding for LSU and the Baton Rouge research community.