According to a news release, Sen. John Kennedy’s plan for the NOAA to transfer the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) building to UL Lafayette is completed, after approval in the House and Senate.
The building space will be part of a laboratory school initiative within the College of Education and Human Development, known as the Learning Lab.
“The completion of the building transfer plan is a big win for the University of Louisiana
at Lafayette. The laboratory school will benefit countless people in years to come, and I
am proud that our work on the Appropriations Committee helped make
this happen,” said Kennedy.
UL Lafayette president Dr. Joseph Savoie also said that “The acquisition of the NOAA building enables the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its College of Education & Human Development to provide, through the creation of a laboratory school, a space for high-quality teaching that will foster within our youngest minds a lifelong love of learning. The Learning Lab will be a place that will inspire creativity, embolden curiosity, and promote an environment where aspiring educators can immerse themselves in a living model of best educational practices. The hard work and dedication of Senator Kennedy has set all this in motion, and we’re very grateful for his leadership and support.”
In 1993, UL Lafayette and NOAA agreed that if NOAA ceased operations, the building would return to the university. Following NOAA’s announcement that operations in the building would be discontinued, Congress received a plan that included returning the building to UL Lafayette, consolidating the NMFS into one suite in the building, and leasing the space to NMFS from the university. The university also relocated federal partners in the NOAA building to not disturb their scientific work.