Discover Lafayette’s Past – Hamilton Lab School on SLI/USL Campus

The Hamilton Training School operated on McKinley Street on the campus of SLI, the Southwestern Louisiana Institute in Lafayette, from 1939-1977.

The students attending lived in the area and were children of SLI/USL staff and faculty. The school provided a setting for student teachers to learn their craft. Over the years, its name changed to Hamilton Lab School. It closed in 1977 due to shifting national attitudes about the efficacy of lab schools, as states increasingly moved to a more conventional model of teaching students after the WWII era. Once closed the building lay dormant for a few years.

A classroom at Hamilton Lab School is pictured above. Photos in this post were obtained from Lafayette Memories on a Facebook post by Blake Escudier and Toni Aucoin.

Hamilton Hall was renovated in 1986 and reopened in 1988. The building and school were named in honor of Fuller M. Hamilton, former dean of the College of Education and a former superintendent of the Calcasieu Parish school system.