Environmental Education Center and Great Hall

This center will become a major regional destination that includes areas (inside and out) for:

* Research, education and conference spaces.
* Canoe / Kayak access / rentals and concessions.
* Various Day-use areas.
Envisioned to address perhaps the most prominent issue in the heritage of land conservation and use practices, the balance of sustainable, environmental and economic planning, the Environmental Education Center at Hudson Crossing will be both an incubator for the growing study and practice of environmentally sensitive logy, and a necessary catalyst to help jump-start a community toward economic redevelopment. The Center's mission is this:
Visitor Center
Upon entering the building we first step foot in the Lobby, which serves as the Visitor Center for Hudson Crossing Park. Here we can learn about the park, the history, wildlife, and ecology of the upper Hudson River, and other local attractions within the region.

The park trail system will also converge directly into the lobby area so this can serve as our point of departure for the day's excursion. Interactive displays and local artwork will adorn the space, everything we need to know will be here. Adjacent to this space will be administrative and support areas, public restrooms, and a small 'Cafe' for drinks and snacks. From here we can also access the other main components of the center.
Education Wing
Our next stop is to the Education Wing. Programs are given here in several small expandable 20 to 30 person classrooms that open onto the terraces and garden spaces of the center, so the class can move indoors and outdoors as needed for the particular program. Classes, seminars, and workshops of all types are targeted for K-12, adults, senior, families, and community groups. (The highlight of this area will be the River Room. This room will take you down below the water level and into the Hudson River. Once inside, and looking out through the glass wall viewers can see and learn from the river as it flows right in front of them. This space could provide valuable insight into the natural process of the river, a chance to see a day, a month. a season, or a year pass in the life of the river.)

Research Incubator
Next we come to the Research Incubator. Here we are setting the stage for the future, this will make this facility stand out from other environmental centers in that here we will offer the opportunity for the research and development of topics involving the environment, and our local ecology. The vision is that researchers will come to use the center as a base site for research projects.

The Centers proximity to the Hudson River, Adirondack Mountains, Lake George, Lake Champlain and many other natural areas of interest will allow a broad range of opportunities for research topics. Initially the spaces to will be very flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of individual research projects, and will include a group of small office spaces similar to incubator business offices, a small research lab, and storage areas. This section of the Center is perhaps the most challenging in that depending on the interest it may grow over time.

Great Hall
Our last stop inside the Center brings us to the Great Hall. This large space will bring in much of the revenue that will help to financially sustain the Center. In here, banquets, conferences, weddings, and many other functions will take place. Supported by a small catering kitchen, plenty of storage, audio-visual equipment, and breakout spaces, the Great Hall will be large enough to support functions up to 200 people. Flooded with natural light, high dramatic ceilings, views over the Hudson River, and walls opening on terraces and gardens, this space will be a destination in and of itself.
This space will help meet a current need for more conferencing space in the Saratoga area, and at the same time bring much needed exposure and secondary business to the
Schuylerville area.

Schematically programmed around 15,000 square feet and imagined sitting on the banks of the Hudson River within the Hudson Crossing Park boundaries; the facility will serve as a destination attraction for the community, helping to tie together Hudson Crossing, the Route 4 Scenic byway and the broader Schuyler Park network. The building will be designed using natural materials, and proportionate massing with the existing natural elements using a vernacular that is neither, modem or historic, but harmonious with the land it rests upon and the greater environmental context of the region. Through the use of renewable resource energy practices, natural lighting, and natural ventilation, the Center will provide all its own energy. Additionally, gray water technologies will be used to minimize water usage and waste water production.

Four main components will make up the Center's program, the Visitor Center for Hudson Crossing, the Education Wing, the Research Incubator, and the Great Hall. These spaces along with outdoor gardens, a small amphitheatre, and an extensive trail system within the park will make this center a valuable resource for the local community and the greater Capitol District. A brief description of these areas follows.
'To promote the sensitivity of our connection with nature, to ensure that future generations as well as present learn that the environment is not ours to be used, but an integral sustaining force in our every day lives'
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