After years of development Jacksonville State University broke ground on June 11th 2008 for the construction of the Little River Canyon Center in DeKalb County, Alabama. On hand were over 200 supporters, who learned about the project from JSU President William A. Meehan, JSU Trustee Randy Owen, Alabama Tourism and Travel Director Lee Sentell, State Representative Richard Lindsey, Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Sparks and Canyon Center Director Pete Conroy. Today, the Canyon Center's construction is complete. It was opened to the public on February 22nd 2009.
The concept for the project began in 1992 when discussions first began a partnership between the National Park Service and JSU. Funded through NASA and private donations, the LRC Center is designed with assistance from the NPS as they will occupy a portion of the facility. The 23,000 square foot building includes meeting spaces, museum, auditorium, catering kitchen, classrooms, library, education store, amphitheatre, outdoor trails office space and other amenities.
Along with many others, the National Park Service, Alabama Power Company, DeKalb County Commission, the Alabama Treasured Forest Association and several members of Alabama's Congressional delegation have played an active and integral role in the development of the Little River Canyon Center. All recognize that the facility will be a valuable tool for visitors, students, teachers and others interested in environmental sciences and natural resource protection.
Designed by Jenkins Munroe Jenkins Architects and built by Eidson Construction, the building is registered as a LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) facility. It features a geothermal heating and cooling system, added insulation, recycled building materials and many other sustainable characteristics.
If you are interested in the JSU Canyon Center please call the Environmental Policy and Information Center at #256-782-8010. Information regarding donations, building rentals, tours, hikes, classes and programs is always available.