LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Learning Lab will be housed in a 70,000-square-foot building in UL Lafayette’s Research Park.

On March 31, Senator John Kennedy announced the building’s transfer to the University.

“Beyond a cutting-edge learning and teaching environment, the Learning Lab will be a hub for teaching practice and theory, education-based research and interdisciplinary collaboration,” said interim dean of the College of Education & Human Development Dr. Paula Montgomery.

“Acquiring a home for the lab school moves us that much closer to opening its doors,” Montgomery added.

The Learning Lab will operate as an independent school district, according to a UL press release. It will be funded with a blend of tuition and state support. The press release also said that donor support will be essential with Together: The Campaign for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette aiming to raise $500 million.

Beyond the Learning Lab’s core mission, which emphasizes student research and active learning, the opportunities the school will afford are considerable, the press release said, with conducting methodology research to determine the efficacy of curricula and programs among them.

This research will provide a built-in mechanism to assess and strengthen the school’s curriculum and yield best practices that will be shared with school districts across the state and nation.

“The need for progressive education models and the kind of learning environments lab schools provide, however, has returned. And, as one of the state’s largest contributors to its teacher workforce, the University is well-positioned to capitalize on that,” Dr. Nathan Roberts said.

The projected opening date has yet to be determined, according to the press release. Dr. Roberts explained that “renovations to convert the building into a space for innovative learning, teaching and research is one of the priorities.”

Learn more about the UL Lafayette Learning Lab here.