In September of 1915, Demonstration High School, now University Laboratory School, opened with an original enrollment of 64 students in grades eight through 11 at the Louisiana State University Pentagon Campus on North Third Street in Baton Rouge. The purpose of the high school was to provide teachers and preservice teaching candidates with an opportunity to study and observe effective teaching methods and to obtain practical classroom experience under the guidance of the school’s four faculty members and the University’s professors.
Demonstration High School’s administration added the seventh grade to the high school in 1923. Two years later, LSU moved to its current campus in southeastern Baton Rouge and selected to house the Demonstration High School within the College of Education (Peabody Hall). In 1936, LSU’s College of Education added grades one through six to the school, followed by grade 12 in 1945. Kindergarten was added in 1981, completing a full 13-year spectrum of primary and secondary educational offerings.
In 1953, the College of Education moved University Laboratory School from Peabody Hall to its own independent campus at its present site on Dalrymple Drive. The school’s auditorium and original gymnasium were added in 1964. In the fall of 1979, a fire destroyed the elementary building, prompting a new K-5 wing to be added in 1981. To accommodate a burgeoning enrollment, temporary buildings were added in 1994 to house two sections of fifth grade.
By the fall of 2004, University Laboratory School dedicated a new building that housed elementary classes on the first floor and middle school classes on the second floor. Along with the new addition, the school renovated the first and second floors of the 1981 building to connect with the new building and to also house elementary classes on the first floor and middle school classes on the second floor.
In addition, the library doubled in size. This new addition and renovation allowed the school to expand the middle school from 225 students to 300 students and to gradually increase the high school population to 400 students. In 2005, University Laboratory School completed a total renovation of the original 1953 high school building. The high school now has a population of slightly more than 400 students.
In August 2006, a new elementary building was opened, and the elementary division doubled in enrollment. The school gymnasium suffered significant damage from a fire on May 12, 2007. After extensive repair, the gym and the renovated auditorium reopened in 2008. A second gymnasium and all-purpose facility opened in 2009.
Throughout its more than 100 year history, University Laboratory School has maintained its place among the best primary and secondary educational institutions in the state, region and beyond in academics, arts, athletics and facilities and services. Stay tuned for as our progress forward continues!