The Water Campus is a decade old. What has it accomplished?

Christel Slaughter, chair, Wilbur Marvin Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust boards of director (Don Kadair)

It has been a decade since community leaders and local and state government officials gathered at the old municipal dock overlooking the Mississippi River to announce plans for The Water Campus—a project intended to serve as a world-class research hub for coastal restoration and water management solutions.

At the time of the development’s announcement, leaders billed the research campus as the future economic and cultural southern anchor of downtown Baton Rouge.

Today, the $100 million first phase of the campus is complete, drawing researchers and scientists, state officials, and students alike, who say the access the campus provides to like-minded neighbors helps foster creative collaboration in tackling the state’s most daunting coastal restoration and water management quandaries.

The project was a win-win for the city-parish, LSU and BRAF, says Christel Slaughter, board chair for both the Wilbur Marvin Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust, BRAF’s real estate development arm. The Water Campus has been billed as the brainchild of BRAF and its then-CEO, John Davies.

“When you enter into a project with the potential scope and scale of the Water Campus you have broad ideas, then you try and remain nimble to take advantage of opportunities as they ebb and flow,” Slaughter says. “We knew we had an opportunity for a public-private partnership to help develop a part of the city-parish that needed redevelopment.”

Read the full story about the growth of the Water Campus from the latest edition of Business Report. Send comments to [email protected].