Pretty soon students in KELOAND will be back in the classroom for school.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be heading indoors.

It sounds like an afternoon in the park.

“Look at this spot. The trees here…you’ve got the birds singing,” Augustana University Sustainability Director David O’Hara said.

But that’s actually what class time will be like for some students at Augustana University.

An outdoor classroom is being built right now.

“I know my students are sometimes like this where I’m not always as exciting as I can be and you start to stare out the window. This is what you’re staring at. So let’s just open the window and meet outside,” O’Hara said.

David O’Hara is the director of Sustainability and a professor at the University.

He plans on teaching some of his classes in the space.  

It turns out, the outdoor classroom is a lesson in sustainability.

“The bulk of the patio is made out of slate from the Black Hills,” Foster Landscaping Owner Rick Foster said.

The project also features old street pavers from Sioux Falls and materials from other places in KELOLAND including Dell Rapids and Milbank.

“The less you ship, the less fuel it takes to get the stone here,” Foster said.

The classroom will be ready in time for the first day of classes.

“I want my students to leave here not just with their heads full of knowledge, but with their hearts full of readiness to make the world a better place and this is a small start right here,” O’Hara said.

The outdoor classroom won’t just be used for learning.

O’Hara says it can also be a venue for other events including performances or weddings.