LSU is delaying the construction of the Tiger Athletics Nutrition Center because of proposed state budget cuts, the school announced on Tuesday.
Construction on the nutrition center was scheduled to begin next month and end next April. The school still plans to build the $12 million facility but did not give a new construction date.
“The Tiger Athletic Nutrition Center will become a reality, but we will wait until we can gauge how the budget cuts will affect LSU before starting the project,” athletic director Joe Alleva said in the statement.
LSU has already raised the money for the facility through private donations, but the “current climate of austerity surrounding our university compels us to move in a more deliberate manner,” Alleva said in the statement.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget proposal released last week would slash funding for higher education by $211 million. That plan relies heavily on the state scaling back refundable tax credits, meaning if state lawmakers don’t pass that measure, then the actual cut could balloon to over half a billion dollars across all colleges and universities -- more than 70 percent of the state’s spending on higher education.
LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander has been one of the most outspoken against the cuts. The state Legislature will spend the next several months hashing out a final spending plan for the budget that begins July 1.
The nutrition center will include a large dining room, kitchen, lounge area and a “fueling station” open extended hours, according to renderings. A concrete plaza encircles the building, which adheres to the campus’ Spanish-style architecture.
The facility, to be located between Nicholson Drive and the train tracks, along Skip Bertman Drive, will serve all LSU athletes. Athletes currently eat in student dining halls. Most Southeastern Conference teams have athlete-only dining halls or are in the process of building athlete-only dining halls, said associate athletic director Eddie Nunez said.
Elizabeth Crisp in contributed to this report.