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Laboratory School Update: Gaining Perspective & Preparing for Design

The fall semester opened doors to new and exciting collaborations for the laboratory school project. In alignment with the University’s strategic plan initiative to increase collaboration across colleges, the lab school design team has been working with architecture students and faculty to create an architecture proposal brief and design competition.  This collaboration will help to produce a document outlining the main elements that make our school unique as we begin to seek out interest for designing and building an innovative structure for optimum learning.

Supported by University faculty in architecture and education, UL Lafayette graduate students conducted an advisory charette to gain perspective from local teachers, students, and administrators as well as college of education faculty and teacher candidates.  Charette participants shared ideas for the school design based on experience within their specific education contexts.  Facilitators used the ideas, concerns, and educator insight to improve upon the specifications and requests in the document that will soon become a request for architectural proposals.  The charette provided excellent insight, and we are excited to expand opportunities to gather feedback from education stakeholders in the near future.

In each aspect of the lab school project, we reflect on how to best maintain fidelity to our mission to advance educational equity, innovation, and opportunity for ALL Louisiana teachers and students.  The mission is evident in each layer of the lab school’s development and remains integral in our preparation for the school design.  Some of the necessary challenges for the design will include maintaining a per square foot budget reflective of public school budget norms, identifying innovative opportunities to increase accessibility in all areas of the school campus, and increasing learning opportunities by bringing evidence of our core values to every corner of the environment.  As the laboratory school inches closer to reality, the possibilities for outreach and impact continue to grow.  This project represents an expedition toward innovation, altruism, and excellence.  It is an expedition that never ends but rather grows and transforms along with our local and global humanity.

Learn more about the UL Lafayette Laboratory School.