LSU Building $85 Million L-S-U Shaped Lazy River On Campus, As School Considers Bankruptcy
WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL, if we wanted to cool off, we’d rocket water balloons at each other and target the girls in the white tank tops.
But apparently things have changed now, as Louisiana State University invested $85 million in an LSU-shaped lazy river set to debut in 2016, despite the school’s debilitating financial woes.
The river is part of a campus recreation center that includes an outdoor adventure center, a 35 foot rope-climbing course, a 21,000-square-foot sun deck, a 40,431 sq. ft. cardio and weight room, eight lane lap pool, nine tennis courts and a fitness assessment center, according to EAG News.
Laurie Braden, LSU director of recreation, had some fighting words in defense of the massive recreational overhaul.
“I will put it up against any other collegiate recreational facility in the country when we are done because we will be the benchmark for the next level.”
It is important to note that the school is currently struggling with a $1.6 billion shortfall in its next budget cycle, and is considering cutting $500 million in higher education funding, according to Fox News. The school may also consider laying off tenured professors and cutting academic programs. But the University insists that the cost of the recreational project is completely unrelated to its budget issues. The project is being funded by an increase in student recreation fees that was approved in 2011.
“The entire project will be used in recruiting and retaining students,” Laurie Braden, LSU’s director of recreation, told NOLA.com. “The impact of physical activity and play on the brain and students ability to learn is well documented by neuro-biologist and researcher John Ratey and Stuart Brown.”
These aquatic centers prove to be extremely useful recruiting tools for universities, as Texas Tech has a 645-foot “lazy river” and the University of Iowa has a lazy river and a 25 person hot tub, according to Fox News.