School Construction: The Public Can Help
The blueprints for the Little River Canyon Field School are almost completed
and its advisory board will begin thinking about construction funds.
Board members recently examined the blueprints for a rustic stone and
wood facility that will also house offices for the National Park Service.
who have worked to develop this facility including several JSU
faculty and staff members, officials with the National Park Service
and the DeKalb County Tourism Association, and many community leaders
are pleased that the project has come this far.
facility will attract tourists, students and others who want to know
more about the rich fauna and flora of Little River Canyon area and
life at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. The facility will also
provide a showcase for musicians, artists, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Conroy, director of the Environmental Policy and Information Center
and the JSU Field Schools, hopes the public will help by getting involved.
JSU has been very fortunate in having Congress appropriate funds for
construction," he said, "we have many needs that will require additional
assistance through private means."
displayed an artist rendition of the building front which features the
rustic materials with a front patio pond feature and bog typical to
the area. The front lobby has 20-foot ceilings and a double-sided fireplace.
Inside the lobby will be a welcome center and restrooms. Visitors will
follow a route through the building that takes them into an auditorium
with a video describing the field school, the prehistory, history, and
natural history of the area. From there, visitors will tour an exhibit
hall and an education shop. Classrooms are on one side of the facility
and offices on the other.
connect our visitors to the environment, the facility will have a large
terrace, with a nice view out back. It'll be a starting point for hiking
trails and the trails that lead to our outdoor classrooms," said Dr.
Kelly Gregg, a JSU professor of geography and member of the advisory
going to bring K-12 groups there and establish learning stations," said
Renee Morrison, coordinator of JSU field schools and a member of the
advisory board. "Outside the building will be a native American rock
shelter, a site for archeology and anthropology students, and a water
quality site where students will compare water samples and discuss water
addition there will be an outdoor classroom station with native live
animals and a station where students can learn about rocks and soil.
Those affiliated with the project almost glow when they speak of the
of those is Dr. Frank Romano, head of the biology department at JSU.
looking forward to teaching classes at the JSU Little River facility,"
he said. "Maybe we'll do week-long classes on aquatic entomology and
ecology. We'll study, and then go to the creek, which will literally
be in our back yard. Our classrooms will be indoors and out, definitely
a great living laboratory," he said.
believes the Little River Canyon project will be unique in supporting
the interest of both a university and a national park. He said, "While
the National Park Service is JSU's primary partner, we have developed
dozens of important relationships that make the construction of this
facility possible. This project is all about partnerships."
said everyone involved had dreamed about the field school for years
and are eager to build. "I guess all good things are worth waiting for,
but we're all tired of that, and now we are just ready to get started."
interested in donating funds for the field school should contact Pete
Conroy at 256-782-8010. For more information, log onto http://epic.jsu.edu.
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