MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park's plans to construct a new youth campus at Mammoth Hot Springs has been approved.

The buildings will replace and improve the park’s existing education facilities which was constructed in 1978. Functionally out of date, the inadequate dormitory, classroom, and office space do not meet the needs of today’s students and staff. Its accessibility, energy efficiency, and parking are also deficient.

The anticipated completion date for the new campus will be 2022, Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary. The estimated cost of the facility has been pegged at up to $50 million. Toyota has already donated $1 million toward the project.

The new campus buildings will be designed and constructed to meet the Living Building Challenge, a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that requires performance standards demonstrated over 12 consecutive months. For example, 105 percent of the campus’s energy needs must be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis, without the use of on-site combustion.

A portion of the campus will be built on a previously disturbed site. The development will allow for overnight stays for up to 140 students at a time, which is more than double the capacity of the current facility.

“The youth campus will be funded through a combination of philanthropic donations received by our nonprofit partner, Yellowstone Forever, and federal support," said superintendent Dan Wenk, in a press release. 

Documents associated with the decision, including an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact, can be viewed through the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system.

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