New Outdoor Classroom Inspires a World of Possibilities

Down a gravel path, nestled in the woods within the 180-acre Robins Campus, sits a 750-square-foot wooden pavilion that will serve as Collegiate’s newest outdoor classroom.

Two years in the making and built thanks to a generous donation to Outdoor Collegiate, the space offers limitless learning opportunities and possibilities.

“This is really former Vice President of Development Alex Smith’s vision,” said Brad Cooke, Upper School history teacher and director of Outdoor Collegiate. “He saw this property and knew what it could be.”

Mr. Cooke can barely contain his excitement as he imagines the potential.

“I want to utilize the space to enhance teaching,” he said. “There’s something different about being off campus.”

Holly Fairlamb, Upper School French teacher, toured the facility and can already envision taking her class there.

“We do a unit in ecology in French,” she said. “Having class here would be a great change of pace.”

Sandra Marr, Upper School biology and ecology teacher, and Dan Bartels, STEM coordinator for Middle and Upper Schools, have talked about launching a turtle-tracking project.

Mr. Cooke says the pavilion could serve as a creative learning space for any class — English, history, art — and additional ideas abound for the property including creating a garden, housing chickens and incorporating solar power.

“My pie-in-the-sky vision has such potential for sustainability and civic engagement,” he said. “I just want people to use it.”

For more information, please contact Brad Cooke at