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Posted on: August 28, 2019


Manhattan, Kan. – This fall, the Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) is excited to announce the building of an outdoor classroom complementing its newest outdoor exhibit, the Prairie Garden Terrace & Trail. Construction will take place from September 2 through September 5.

The outdoor classroom will be located on the southeast side of the FHDC. Construction will be led by Koch Construction Specialties, LLC. The team will build 45 linear feet of dry stone sitting wall with flat capstones using traditional drystone masonry. This technique involves carefully shaping and placing the native Kansas stones together without the use of any mortar. The stones are held by gravity and friction alone. The public is encouraged to stop by and see this unique process in action during construction.

Upon completion, the outdoor classroom will be able to seat approximately 25 people at a time. The seating will be built in a wide arch to create an open space for future presenters and programs. Accompanying the classroom will be an interpretive panel explaining the traditional dry stone construction technique seen throughout the Flint Hills.

“The new outdoor classroom continues our efforts to connect local residents to the natural world. We now have the opportunity to provide new, engaging outdoor programs like birdwatching, stargazing and live animal demos in a purpose built space,” said Curator of Education Stephen Bridenstine.

The space will be free and accessible for the public during daylight hours. Guests are welcome to come and enjoy the space for reflection, relaxation and nature exploration.

This enhancement project was made possible by the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation/The Manhattan Fund, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, Koch Construction Specialties, LLC, City of Manhattan and Manhattan Parks and Recreation.

For more information about the Flint Hills Discovery Center, visit, call 785-587-2726 or visit 315 S. 3rd St. in Manhattan.

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