FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Part of the Fairhope K-1 Center that’s been vacant for years is getting new life starting this fall.

“A new campus will teach kids about what they do upstream, in town, in their yards, in their community and how that affects the bay,” said Rebecca Bryant with Watershed, who is helping design the new campus.

The Fairhope Educational Enrichment Foundation is preparing to break ground on a new innovation center and an outdoor classroom on the campus in downtown Fairhope, surrounding the existing Pelican’s Nest.

“The Pelican’s Nest has been serving kids in Baldwin County for 25 years teaching them the wonders of Mobile Bay,” Bryant explained.

Artist renderings of the campus were released in recent weeks. It’s been 7 years in the making, but it’s now becoming reality. A large expansion project will give Baldwin County students K-12 hands on learning experiences during field trips and beyond. The campus will help teach students with a hands on approach in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

“To teach about ecology, about sustainable water treatment, to teach kids what’s so wonderful about this area,” she said.

Phase 1 includes the outdoor classroom. Construction is expected to start in the fall. It’s projected to be completed by middle of next year. Then, Phase 2 begins with the innovation center inside the four existing classroom buildings.

Phase 3 will include an updated Pelican’s Nest. A fundraising campaign called ‘Feather the Nest’ continues as the project start date gets closer. You can learn more about the project and donate by clicking here.