In working to create an outdoor learning center with All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler, Texas, it was clear that we couldn’t think about the outdoor areas as separate from the indoor ones. Both were a top priority, and the two needed to work in harmony.
All Saints partnered with Leland’s to build a learning center that took advantage of the 150-acre campus and all the trees, trails, and wildlife on it. Listening to Head of School Mike Cobb’s vision for the learning center, we were able to work together to maximize the best in what our Texas pre-built cabins offered and in the beautiful open spaces the campus provided.
The fundamental drive of the project was “bringing the outdoors in.” So the interior floor plan of one of our nine models of premade cabins fit with the school’s design goal of having three core learning areas.
All Saints wanted a lab area for examining and exploring more about student discovery. With a designated lab space, Mike says, “Our students can bring in the things that they find out in the forest.”
Next, they wanted a classroom space with flexible seating that could be moved around. Teachers and students needed to be able to re-arrange desks, tables, and chairs to fit the lessons being taught. So we worked with them on choosing walls, floors, and finishes as well as the right furniture.
The third area was for animals, as well as designated space for an adjacent greenhouse outside, and a mud-room deck for hosing off muddy boots that was separate from the learning spaces.
“It’s very well thought out,” Mike says. “It was easy to design that because Leland allowed us to have the flexibility to say this is what we want, and then they made sure that we had everything laid out.”
Focused on having the outdoor learning center be the hub of the natural learning environment, Mike and the All Saints team wanted the space to feel — for students sitting in the classroom — as if they’re still among nature and the glory of the outdoors.
To keep that balance between indoor and outdoor space, the All Saints team wanted a wide-open area for the glass doors, so that students could feel more directly connected to the trees, weather, and wildlife. Students would always be looking outside, and with the right doors in the right spot, the students and teachers could flow to an outdoor seating area for lessons set directly amid nature.
“They actually made that happen,” Mike explains. “It wasn’t something that was standard with this cabin, but they worked with us to do that.”
We pride ourselves at Leland’s on really listening to what our customers want. We’ll customize our manufactured log cabins to meet clients’ needs. But while our cabins are premade, we offer plenty of flexibility to take from other model designs or customize windows, doors, closets, and finishes.
Flowing Out and Back In
With trails heading off into the woods in various directions and a canopy of leaves gently lifting in the breeze, the All Saints learning center is a hub of activity. “All of this flows all the way out and all the way back in,” says Mike.
And it’s a great point of pride for the school itself, helping children connect with the natural world through hands-on learning and doing. Leland’s was proud to have played a part in bringing the nature learning center to life.
“They worked with us on how we’d structure our deck system to how we’d actually build our doors here,” explains Mike, “so that we could have that exact thing that we wanted for our space.”
Stop by our Texas log cabin supercenter in Grandview, the largest cabin showroom in Texas, and let us help you find just what you’ve always wanted for your space.