What will Lab+
The Lab+ priorities funded out of this campaign are
focused on providing each student and teacher with the resources they need to
make the most of every day:
Enhancing the arts
From music to painting, from drama to photography,
the Lab+ Campaign will allow the Schools to build spaces dedicated to the arts
that match the creativity and talent of our students and teachers.
Lab will update its existing buildings to meet
21st-century learning standards. Simple but critical improvements, such as
modernized heating and cooling systems, will address basic infrastructure needs
and complement the creation of new spaces. The latter will include
community-gathering areas—both grand and intimate—and additional science and
computer labs. Throughout the campus, technology will be brought into daily
classroom life in the most appropriate and beneficial ways. At the same time,
those aspects of our spaces essential to traditional learning modes will be
preserved and enhanced.
Creating a new
space for early childhood education
Lab will build a transformative new Early Childhood
Campus (ECC) to house the renowned N/K, first, and second grade programs. The
ECC will allow us to accommodate increased enrollment at the lowest grades and
will provide our youngest learners with spaces tailored to maximize their
independence, offer indoor gross motor skills areas, and connect indoor and
outdoor learning more seamlessly.
increased student aid
Lab+ will ensure that financial considerations do
not get in the way of attracting the best and brightest students to our
Schools. We understand that student aid is important to our community, as
evidenced by the fact that, in just the past few years, donor support has
allowed us to increase the number of full scholarships from one to 18.
Investment in libraries is one way Lab+ will
guarantee teachers and students have the resources and spaces they need for one
of the best educational experiences in the country. Blaine Library will be
expanded from its current location (once regular classrooms) into a space
designed to hold books and facilitate greater use (i.e., story-time for one
class while another accesses the stacks). The Middle and High School libraries
will grow their age-appropriate collections and workspaces, but we will still
recognize how children at these ages need to cross back and forth between
levels of reading sophistication.
Why are the
Schools taking on this large project? Why does Lab need to be bigger?
The basis of Lab+ is not flashy new facilities or
growth for growth’s sake. It is about ensuring that the Laboratory Schools
continue to deliver the best-in-class education they have always been known for
and about ensuring that our students and faculty have the resources and spaces
they need to fulfill the Schools’ mission.
With that broader set of concerns in mind, here are
the specific issues we hope to address through Lab+:
- Our existing facilities cannot accommodate the huge growth
in demand from both the University and the broader community. If we do not
increase our space, we will not be able to maintain the socio-economic and
racial diversity that has been the hallmark of a Lab education.
- We risk losing the best students and faculty to both private
and public options, where facilities are superior to Lab’s, if we do not
modernize and upgrade our buildings.
- Our visual and performing arts spaces are woefully
inadequate. Our art classrooms, rehearsal, and performance areas were
originally designed for other purposes. Consequently, they do not provide the
proper lighting, acoustics, and configuration of space to allow our students’
interest in and passion for the arts to flourish.
- Lab’s historic buildings require updates to lighting,
heating/cooling, electrical, and security systems.
- Unlike the vast majority of independent schools, Lab has no
gathering space where an entire division can meet for assemblies or other
programming. And our teachers lack appropriate work and meeting space.
How will Lab
accommodate a larger student body?
Over a period of nearly 10 years, the Schools will
grow in increments by a total of 276 students—104 in the High School and 172 in
the lower grades. An additional division (Primary) will be added in order to
keep each division small and intimate. And fifth grade will be moved from the
Middle School back to the Lower School (where it resided for decades).
This plan realizes a long-standing desire by many
to expand the size of the High School and to increase its academic offerings.
Best practices support the concept of increasing the size of U-High by 100
Why should I
support the Lab+ Campaign?
Ours is a philanthropic community, and many of our
parents, alumni, and friends support other organizations from which they expect
no direct benefit. We are indebted to the generations of donors who came before
us whose generosity established the Schools and nurtured its growth for the
Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation
for Lab, we hope that all members of our community will contribute, as they are
able. If our generation takes the lead, others will follow, promising another
100 years of excellence and ensuring a Lab education is possible for
outstanding students for generations to come.