Iowa State University’s LeBaron Hall to be replaced, opening 2026
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Board of Regents has approved Iowa State University’s proposal to demolish LeBaron Hall and replace with a modern facility that will enhance programs throughout the College of Human Sciences.
“The new LeBaron Hall will be a hub of hands-on activity centered around student learning,” said Laura Dunn Jolly, College of Human Sciences Dean and Dean’s Chair. “Labs and classrooms are designed to be flexible as industries change, ensuring this facility serves generations of future Cyclones.”
Anchoring the northwest corner of central campus, the new LeBaron Hall will feature a university classroom, large teaching lab and a multi-use commons focused on interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.
Students in Iowa State’s nationally-ranked apparel, merchandising and design program can expect several new production labs and teaching spaces that replace the current facilities in LeBaron Hall, further enhancing the program’s legacy of science and innovation in the textile industry. There will also be hands-on space dedicated to the popular event management program.
“Replacing a building that opened in 1958 and renovating neighboring space will create an integrated human sciences complex that reflects the exceptional work happening in our college and prepares us for growth in the future,” said Jolly.
The new LeBaron Hall will have approximately 30,000 square-feet of space dedicated to student learning, teaching and research. An adjacent 10,000 square-feet of existing space that connects several buildings in the area will be transformed into a collaboration space and modernized building support functions.
The $39 million project is possible by donor support as well as college and university funds.
Renovations underway for a new Textile Sciences Research Lab
The College of Human Sciences is home to leading researchers in textile science who conduct their work in LeBaron Hall. In preparation for the demolition of LeBaron Hall, a $2.1 million renovation is underway in the adjacent Human Nutritional Sciences Building (HNSB) that will bring together all facets of textile sciences research into a cohesive, permanent space. The new Textile Sciences Research Lab is scheduled to open in spring 2024.
At their September meeting, the Board of Regents also approved an in-depth feasibility study and permission to begin fundraising for additional projects in HNSB, which will be connected to the future LeBaron Hall. The feasibility study will assess areas of the building as possible locations for the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom and textile sciences teaching lab. The current tearoom opened in the garden level of MacKay Hall in 1926. A relocation to HNSB would move the student-run restaurant to a more accessible and visible location.
LeBaron Hall will be nearly 100% dedicated to student learning, teaching and research. Faculty and staff offices will move out of LeBaron Hall to permanent locations. Courses currently taught in LeBaron will be relocated during construction and return when the building opens.
Updates will continue to be posted on the project webpage as construction progresses. Video of the current LeBaron Hall and conceptual renderings of the future LeBaron Hall are available for media use.
Iowa State University
College of Human Sciences