West Campus Offers Outdoor Class Space

outdoor-classroom-groveWest Campus has a new place for students and faculty to study or hold classes — an outdoor classroom located behind the library and the Special Events Center. The outdoor classroom was constructed by Andrew (Andy) Ray, professor, building construction technology, and his students, with the help of grounds keeping staff.

In the shade of a large laurel oak, this classroom was supported by a Hubbard Construction Company Endowed Chair for construction and technology-related degree programs. This Endowed Chair helped construction students gain hands-on experience and an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges involved in designing and constructing functional, secure and aesthetically appropriate site amenities for human and animal habitats.

Prior to building the outdoor classroom, Andy and his students constructed a large bat house, which will be installed on the east end of Lake Pamela. This box will have solar-powered electronic monitoring, developed in collaboration with the electrical engineering students of Jerry Reed’s, electrical engineering professor and programmer analyst. Bat populations will be monitored by the biology students of Brenda Schumpert, professor, biology. The three professors began this interdisciplinary collaboration through the Sustainability Committee.

Andy’s students have also built two benches by the lake, one behind Building 8 and the other behind Building 2. In addition, the Endowed Chair supported an outdoor laboratory/solar shed project for solar collector efficiency studies.

These active learning projects produce campus amenities useful to future students, and move us toward West Campus’ vision to increase student and employee enjoyment of the campus lake.

If you are interested in reserving the outdoor classroom, please visit prior to reserving to ensure the space will accommodate your instructional needs. Although the outdoor classroom is not a smart classroom, it is handicap accessible, lighted and has power for laptops.

To reserve the space, please contact Vivian Martin at vmartin@valenciacollege.edu or extension 1370. For questions on the outdoor classroom, bat box or other projects around Lake Pamela, contact Andy Ray at aray@valenciacollege.edu or extension 1847.


  • Darryl said:

    Great work. it looks wonderful.

    PMTue, 07 Jan 2014 20:57:33 +0000Tue, 07 Jan 2014 20:57:33 +0000pm14,8:57 pm

  • Donna Deitrick said:

    WOW! Loving hearing about the interdiscipline collarboration! I loved to see all of us working together to enhance student learning. Way to go Andy!!!

    AMWed, 08 Jan 2014 08:11:24 +0000Wed, 08 Jan 2014 08:11:24 +0000am14,8:11 am

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