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New Facility at Valley Water Mill Park Dedicated to Clean Water


This weekend marks the dedication and open house of the new C.W. Titus Education Facility at the Watershed Center located just north of Springfield. The eco-friendly building is completely designed to complement the nature around it, including the adjoining Valley Water Mill Park. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.

 [Sound: people talking]

The extreme heat didn’t stop many people from attending the dedication ceremony of the new facility. The geothermal heating and cooling powered by the 21 newly-dug wells right outside the building brought much-needed relief from the heat. Tim Rosenbury, designer and engineer of the structure, told the large audience that the building was meant for many different purposes.

“It was designed to fit comfortably in the site and have a natural feel, and I hope that is self-evident when you came to the site today. It was also designed to function efficiently as an education facility with public meeting spaces, and you are in the main one of course, and lots of water and energy demonstrations.”

 Some of those functions include a pervious concrete parking lot that allows rain to seep straight through the ground, as well as rain gardens and rainwater collection that will be used for plumbing in the building.  The building also uses natural lighting, and many recycled materials went into in the building’s construction. Also, the facility is dug partially into the ground to utilize the earth’s natural insulation.

 Springfield Mayor Jim O’Neal says many people in southwest Missouri care about conserving the earth’s resources, and this facility helps prove it.

“Springfield’s long been recognized as a leader in the state of not just water quality protection, but the environment in general. It stretches to air quality, waste water management, storm water management. This has been a project that’s thirty plus years in the making as far as I can remember.”

 Primary partners in the Watershed Center project include the City of Springfield, Greene County, City Utilities of Springfield, and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, along with many private donors. The total cost of the facility was about $1.2 million.

 There’s a free public Open House from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the new facility on Saturday, July 23, including refreshments and activities for kids. For more information, call 886-1127.

 For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.