By CHARLIE BIER
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's College of Education and its School of Architecture and Design are conducting an international competition for architects, students and educators to work together on design concepts for a proposed laboratory school.
Contest winners will ultimately serve in advisory roles for architectural firms being considered to design the lab school. The deadline to register is Sept. 15. The fee is $50.
Dr. Nathan Roberts, dean of the College of Education, said the contest "is more than a means to get input about what classrooms or research labs at school might conceivably look like. It represents the sort of collaboration that will take place at the school."
In addition to model teaching methods, an innovative curriculum and a place where future teachers could gain classroom experience, a lab school would provide a hub for teamwork among students, teachers and the community.
The competition will be carried out in two phases. Participants in the first phase must be licensed architects, or a team with at least one architect, said Geoff Gjertson, director of the University's Building Institute and a professor of architecture. Gjertson will coordinate the contest.
Renderings, storyboards and text that detail designs for classrooms and research labs are due by Oct. 1. Participants "are encouraged to break away from traditional educational architecture formulas and create innovation designs," Gjertson said.
Between three and five first-round winners will be selected by a jury composed of University educators and administrators, Gjertson said. The jury will also include an architect from Louisiana and an architect from another state who aren't contest participants.
Winners will be awarded $1,000 each. Each winning team or person will become advisors for a small group of architectural firms that are candidates to design the lab school. Firms vying to design the lab school will be chosen based on requests for qualifications, and interviews with University administrators and faculty members.
The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors has approved a laboratory school at UL Lafayette. The University is in the process of searching for land on which it will be built.
Learn more about the design competition or how to register at https://www.ullearninglab.org.
Learn more about the laboratory school here.