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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2007
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Jacksonville State reaches out to nature

JACKSONVILLE (AP) — The outdoors will be featured at a $7 million cluster of classrooms and learning space at the edge of Little River Canyon.

Classes at Jacksonville State University's Little River Field School should begin meeting in the building in January 2009. Construction began on the 25,000-square-foot field school at the edge of the national preserve in July. The building's 30-foot central atrium has been assembled, and the amphitheater behind the building turned out better than planners anticipated.

"When you've worked on something for 20 years, to see it come together is like magic," Field School Director Pete Conroy said.

Alumni and interested viewers have kept up with construction through a series of YouTube postings. The school will feature an environmentally friendly construction design with water conservation measures and geothermal heating.

The school's design has been Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, a building rating system the U.S. Green Building Council developed to promote environmentally friendly construction. A 150-seat auditorium, museum, conference space and a gift shop will also be included in the school.

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Information from: The Birmingham News

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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