LSU has taken another step toward construction of a new library near Tiger Stadium and will launch renovations all over campus, some of the biggest ticket items funded by $232 million the Louisiana Legislature allocated the university system in its most recent session.
The university’s primary library — formerly known as Middleton Library, before the name was taken down because of controversy over its namesake’s opposition to desegregation — has been the subject of long-running complaints from students and faculty over its condition. Parts of the building, which opened in 1959, flood regularly from leaks, the wallpaper is cracked and some of the aging furniture is ripped and worn.
LSU has been planning to replace the building for some time, but has said it does not have the roughly $153 million necessary to do so.
In the budget passed earlier this month, lawmakers set aside $3.25 million in priority funding to jumpstart the project, LSU officials said. They also budgeted $149.5 million, which would be enough to complete the project — but that money will still need to be re-allocated in future legislative sessions.
Kimberly Lewis, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at LSU, said about $245,000 has already been spent on planning, and the $3.25 million will go toward choosing an architect for the project.
“We’ve actually started the work; we have a vision for what it looks like and that’s how we came up with what the price point is, $153 million,” she said. “With the money that’s available, we will move forward with selecting an architect and designing.”
LSU faculty senator and physics professor Parampreet Singh said he frequents the campus library and said it “falls short” in many areas.
“Not only is our building in very bad shape currently, with roofs leaking on the fourth