PWArchitects Inc.
Boone County Nature School

$4.5 million nature-focused school will provide programs for 20,000 students a year in Boone County, Mo.

Oct. 25, 2021
The Boone County Nature School is a joint project of the Columbia school district and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Columbia (Mo.) school district and the Missouri Department of Conservation are working together to create a $4.5 million nature-focused school for Boone County school children. 

The 111-acre Boone County Nature School south of Columbia will serve more than 20,000 students each year and will provide a space for students in the county to learn about the area, The Columbia Daily Tribune reports. The school is a cooperative project between Columbia schools and the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

The school already has established trails and a camping area, and students have been using the property for camping trips. 

An 8,230-square-foot nature school will be built on the property, with 3,424 square feet of classroom space, 1,144 square feet of labs doubling as a storm shelter, a 972-square-foot lobby and display area, 440 square feet of office space and 2,250 square feet of accessory space.

Students will have access to an outdoor pavilion, a council house structure, restored native habitats and native crops, a fishing pond and access to trails that lead to streams, caves and sinkholes, the school's website says. 

The building will be energy-efficient, with LED lighting, clerestory windows for natural light. Local and renewable wood will be used in construction.

The Columbia district has allocated $2 million toward the project, and the Missouri Department of Conservation has added $1 million. Of the $1.5 million in private donations needed, school officials said about $500,000 has been raised.

PWArchitects, Inc., designed the facility.

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