EA to set up shop at Louisiana State University

New facility part of LSU's plan to become a major player in digital media

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Louisiana State University has announced a new partnership with videogame publisher and developer Electronic Arts. The school’s board of supervisors is expected to sign off on a $30 million project called the Digital Media Facility. The 94,000-square-foot facility will be built on the southeast corner of campus and will be run by EA, employing twenty full-time employees as well as two-hundred part-time workers drawn from the LSU student body. EA already employs 400 employees in Baton Rouge, including many LSU students.

LSU’s partnership with EA began in 2008 with the construction of a global quality assurance center on the LSU campus. The new building is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

The partnership is the latest move in LSU's plan to strengthen its digital media programs, which also includes study in fields such as videogame and animation design. “This is an area we think we can be a significant and national player...It’s important from an economic development standpoint, and it’s an important part of an academic area we plan to grow,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. This fall marked the first time students could minor in 'digital media.' EA was originally drawn to LSU and Baton Rouge because of a university digital art initiative known as AVATAR (Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research).

According to Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp, this is the first time LSU has “put up a for-profit business on campus in cooperation with the academic enterprise.”

[Source: The AdvocateLSU]

Apr 18, 2011

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