COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Construction of the new Boone County Nature School classroom building is set to begin in a few weeks.
The new building was designed by PW Architects. Columbia Public Schools has awarded the bid for construction to Verslues Construction Company, of Jefferson City. Construction should be completed by March 2024.
The construction is done through a partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation and CPS.
The new 8,230-square-foot building will house four nature-themed classrooms, lab space, nature and student-related lobby exhibits, and offices. The building and associated grounds will serve students from all six Boone County school districts through unique “place-based” education as well as the public through special conservation-related programming.
“The Boone County Nature School will be a special place for students to experience the wonder of nature,” MDC Regional Education Supervisor Brian Flowers said in a press release. “Students who visit here will learn about Missouri resources in a whole new way as they learn new skills and explore the fields, woods, and waters together.”
The $4.5 million project has several partners. The Missouri Department of Conservation donated 200 acres of its property adjacent to Three Creeks Conservation Area for the nature school and $1 million. CPS allocated $2 million.
A donation was also made by Vicki Russell and the late Hank Waters. The Nature School campus is located on the Waters-Russell Unit of Three Creeks Conservation Area in Boone County and has been utilized by Columbia Public Schools and MDC since 2020.