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LSMSA to open new student living learning center in fall 2021

Crews are working to put the final touches on the new residence hall at LSMSA. The building...
Crews are working to put the final touches on the new residence hall at LSMSA. The building will be home to 360 students in the fall.(KSLA)
Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 8:51 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:41 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - Incoming fall students will be the first to live in the newest living learning center (LLC) at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’ (LSMSA) in Natchitoches .

A total of 360 high schoolers will call the new facility home when they come on campus in August.

“This is the last piece of that community that will put us all together on the front of the campus,” said Dr. Steve Horton, LSMSA’'s executive director. “It creates a small university within itself.”

LSMSA is a state-funded high school tailored to academically competitive students from throughout Louisiana. The school’s graduates often finish with dozens of college credits and enter higher education ahead of their peers. Some enter college with enough credits to be considered juniors.

“You do not have to be gifted to be here, but it’s academically motivated students,” Horton explained. “Part of the process or concept of the school is that ... everything would be done in a residential setting where learning took place.”

The 110,000-square-foot hall is equipped with modern living arrangements, study rooms, a student lounge and craft rooms plus large windows with views of the campus. The building is equipped with round-the-clock security and an onsite health clinic.

Planning for the new LLC has been in the works for a decade, but there was a need for a revamped nearly 40 years ago.

“When the school opened in 1982 with the first class coming in the fall of ’83, it was operating on used buildings,” Horton said. “Some from Natchitoches Parish schools, some from Northwestern State University, and they piece together a living learning community.”

LSMSA, like schools throughout the country, sent students home during the pandemic. It wasn’t until this past spring that students were slowly phased back in. So many will see the new LLC for the very first time later this summer.

“I’m looking forward to seeing their (students’) faces when they arrive back on campus and see something that wasn’t here when they left,” Horton said. “This will be the first time we are all back together in 19 months. And to be able to bring them back home to a new home ... I think it’s going to be a game changer.”

To learn more about the LSMSA’s new LLC, tap or click here.

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