ESTUARINE EDUCATION CENTER

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Gautier, Mississippi

The Estuarine Education Center is a unique facility designed for the education of students, teachers, and the community in environmental, ecological, ecotourism, and wetland issues.  Due to its location on the Mary Walker Bayou, and proximity to the natural, ecological resources of the Pascagoula River Basin, students are provided the opportunity to study in a hands-on learning environment stressing the importance of protecting the ecological integrity of our watershed and river systems.  Generous exterior porches and decking as well as freestanding learning pavilions located strategically along nature trails on the site, help to promote and enable direct interaction with the natural environment.

Due to the environmentally sensitive nature of the site, the buildings are designed to meet FEMA Coastal Construction Guidelines for building in coastal areas.  The Center contains administrative and classroom spaces, science laboratories, as well as a 30′ tall indoor climbing wall that rises up into a central glass tower to provide panoramic views of the bayou, while also allowing natural day lighting to reach the interior core of the building.