UCLA Lab School Campus Undergoes Transformation Thanks to $6.5 Million Gift

Demonstration Teacher Ding Kong welcomes visitors to an interactive display of children’s work in the newly renovated Gregg G. Juárez Community Hall (photo by Darlene Fish Doto)

The first phase of a planned campus enhancements project for UCLA Lab School is complete, thanks to the support of a $6.5 million gift.

Announced in 2014, the gift from an anonymous donor has accelerated planned projects and funded improvements ranging from basic infrastructure updates to innovative new iSTEAM Labs where students combine the latest technologies with found materials in interdisciplinary learning. Gregg G. Juárez Community Hall, which has long been a gathering center for the school community, has been upgraded to include new technology and more flexible space for performances, large group meetings and pop-up displays of work done in teaching, research and outreach. It opens on to the new Community Hall Plaza, designed in the spirit of a piazza, where children and adults can gather to share ideas, pose questions, sing songs and present performances.

The renovations were developed and overseen by Marmol Radziner, a Los Angeles–based architectural firm, following a master planning process involving parents, staff and faculty.

For more details about the campus upgrades, check out the photos below and read the story in Ampersand, the UCLA Ed&IS online magazine.

In the iSTEAM Lab, children learn to use art techniques, design thinking, repurposed materials, sewing machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, hand tools, power tools, computer programming, engineering, robotics, and their imaginations to change the world around them (photo by Margie Limon)

Community Hall Plaza provides a public space for conversation and creative expression (photo by Margie Limon)

Infrastructure updates include new paint and climate control in the Upper classrooms (photo courtesy of Marmol Radziner)

A mini iSTEAM Lab at the Early Childhood Level is a maker space where young children explore materials, investigate ideas and develop inquiry projects (photo by Margie Limon)

The main lobby and hallway have been renovated to create a welcoming environment and showcase children’s work for visitors and the school community (photo courtesy of Marmol Radziner)

New landscaping connects classrooms and gathering spaces at the center of the campus (photo by Margie Limon)