museum based on the natural history of the Great Valley in California. The building on the left in the picture above is a new museum storage structure, and the buildings in the background are condemned and will be removed, probably to become an eventual parking lot. We were worried for some time that the parking lot was going to be put on the site of the outdoor lab.
The water restriction was a sour note (even though it was understandable), but it turns out that a pond is already in place, and it's not really using up any water. It's actually capturing used water. If you've followed my blog for any period of time, or if you follow my birding adventures over at Geotripper's California Birds, you would know that an old drainage pond exists just a few hundred feet away from the future outdoor lab, and that it is shaded by mature oak and cottonwood trees. We will probably adapt it for use as an education feature.
By the way, if we seem somehow privileged to be doing this, it might help to know that all of these wonderful improvements to our campus are not funded by the state or the federal government. They were paid for by the voters and taxpayers in our own economically distressed community. We have one of the highest unemployment rates and the highest poverty rates in the entire country, but our citizens saw their way to support the future of our children by producing some of the finest teaching facilities possible, not just in the sciences, but across the entire college. I'm really proud of my community these days.