Building on a Legacy of Excellence

Everyday, our students, faculty, staff and alumni move the human spirit forward. Renowned as a pioneer in home economics, we’ve built on our strong foundation and become a national leader in teaching, research and outreach across our five academic units.

Now, it’s time to move forward with an exciting plan for the future that ensures our students can grow and thrive in state-of-the-art space that will support every aspect of our work.

Replacing LeBaron Hall

LeBaron Hall is over 60 years old and has realized its lifespan. Our current programs need better, high-quality space and LeBaron lacks the ability to be updated with modern technology.

After an extensive study and several years of planning, LeBaron is being replaced with a new building that will support interdisciplinary programs, provide state-of-the-art technology, add modern labs and expand teaching space.

The new LeBaron Hall will be approximately 30,000 square feet and feature a commons. This multi-use space will be a place where students can study, relax, host events, enjoy a meal and collaborate on entrepreneurial endeavors.

LeBaron Hall Spaces

  • General university classroom (approximately 100 seats)
  • Multi-use commons
  • Courtyard
  • Large, flexible teaching lab
  • Production studio
  • Design studio
  • DATS lab
  • Event management technology lab
  • Historic textiles and clothing lab
  • Storage – garment storage and storage lockers
  • Display spaces

Renovating the Lobby

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. Restrooms will be renovated and wayfinding among the buildings will be greatly improved.

Lobby Spaces

  • Expanded and renovated restrooms
  • Congregate space
  • Study space

Repurposing Space

This multi-story, 34,400 square-foot Human Nutritional Sciences Building (HNSB) opened in 1992 and sits directly across the street from Parks Library with the building’s south end facing central campus. As this project has progressed, opportunities to reimagine space use in HNSB have been part of the planning.

Textile Sciences Research Lab

The pioneering work in textile sciences is currently happening in multiple areas throughout LeBaron and MacKay. A new lab is being constructed in HNSB that will bring together the NextGenPPT lab, body scanner and environmental chamber as well as create a new materials production space. The relocation of this spaces puts the lab adjacent to the potential future textile sciences classroom, further gaining efficiency in collaboration, teaching and space use. This $2.1 million project is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2024.

Textile sciences classroom

From the lightweight fabrics designed for exercise to the equipment healthcare workers wear to protect themselves from diseases, the role of science in textiles touches all aspects of the apparel industry.

The textile sciences classroom is part of a current planning phase. If funding is available, this will be located on the second floor of HNSB giving students convenient access to adjacent textile sciences laboratories.

Student-run restaurant

The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom opened in the garden level of MacKay Hall in 1926. This hands-on learning environment gives students in several disciplines real-world experience running a restaurant, deepening their understanding of all facets of operations and preparing them for their future careers.

The current planning phase is assessing the first floor of HNSB as a potential location for the Tearoom. This location is prominently located on the corner of central campus and a relocation would modernize the space as well as make it more accessible.