The Miller Research/Learning Center developed out of the laboratory school model. Edinboro’s laboratory school, or Model School as it was often called, was created in response to the law that required all normal schools to have a school in which student teachers could practice.
The model school has a long history of association with the Edinboro school district. It first entered into an agreement with the public school directors 1867. By the terms of this agreement, the school district paid Edinboro State Normal School to run the model school. In essence, it was an Edinboro public school.
Edinboro State Normal School’s first model school was located on first floor of Assembly Hall. Its principal was Moses Oliver. He resigned to join the armed services, and was succeeded by former principal of Edinboro Academy, Joel Merriman. Students in the school ranged in age from 6-15.
After a new building was completed in 1875, the model school was moved to the first floor. This building, later named Normal Hall, devoted five rooms for the model school.
After 1880, primary grades were in Literary Hall (formally Assembly) and the intermediate and advanced grades continued to meet in Normal Hall’s first floor. Older students joined the Normal School students.
Until 1889, the school district paid only the salaries of the teachers. After that they began paying $250 above the salaries for use of the buildings.
The arrangement with the school district was dissolved in 1893 because of the Cooper Affair. The school district moved its grades 1-9 to the Brown Building on Erie Street in downtown Edinboro. They appointed Ned Goodell principal of that school. The district then embarked on building a wooden structure behind where the fire hall now stands.
Even without the connection to Edinboro Public Schools, the normal school kept its grades 1-8 and added grade 9 in 1899. During this period, James M. Morrison was principal. Frank W. Goodwing replaced him in 1903. Also that year, a 10th grade was added.
The school and the district resumed their cooperative agreement in 1914. Under this agreement, the Normal School agreed to pay the district $1,200 per year for the privilege of allowing each senior to observe and teach one class per week. The Normal School also agreed to wire the public school building and connect it to their power plant.
Another move for the model school came in 1941 when Compton Hall was opened. It housed the district public school from 1941-1960. The last high school class graduated from Compton in 1960. The district had constructed a new elementary school. In agreement with the district, students in grades k-6 could be still be assigned to the laboratory school in Compton provided the parents agreed.
In 1971 Miller Research/Leaning Center opened. The model School moved in and began using the open classroom concept for children ages 4-9.
Amid some controversy and protests, the school closed in 2003.Note written by Dave Obringer