After years in cramped quarters, students attending Cincinnati’s Zoo Academy are moving into a new state-of-the-art building this fall.
The $8.4 million building includes classrooms looking out onto a 5,000-square-foot indoor rain forest, complete with toucans, a waterfall, and vegetation.
Although the rain forest will be an exhibit open to zoo visitors, it will also be a learning tool for the 35 students who attend the academy, said Dave Jenike, the zoo’s vice president for education and facilities.
The new classroom facilities will have more than twice the space that the 30-year-old school had in an annex to the headquarters of the zoo’s education program, he added.
The academy is run by the Cincinnati public schools at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Juniors and seniors work part of the school day as interns assisting zookeepers, while also taking courses required for high school graduation. (“Class Menagerie,” Jan. 29, 2003.)
The new education center was designed and constructed using standards for environmentally friendly buildings, such as solar power and recycled building materials.
A version of this article appeared in the August 09, 2006 edition of Education Week