Total cost of constructing an outdoor classroom will vary depending on location of construction, local area costs, size of classroom, amount of materials used, among other factors. For the example used above, the materials alone would cost around $5500. Again, depending on size and specific location of the classroom, labor and unforeseen costs could vary greatly. I estimate average labor costs would be somewhere around $15000. This means, the average grand total of constructing an outdoor classroom would be at least $20500.
Obviously, this project is expensive for most school districts to handle. This is why it is important to garner community support, and ask for donations or participate in fund-raising events. It is also possible to use a referendum to ask the tax payers to provide funding for such a project. Although costly in dollars, the positive outcomes of such an outdoor classroom are great. Since this outdoor classroom will be well constructed, it will last for many years to come and require only minimal maintenance after the plants and trees are fully established.
There are obviously possibilities for other designs for outdoor classrooms. For example, a minimal outdoor classroom could just be an area of grass where students may sit in a group and watch a teacher teach the desired lesson. Discussion and group activities could also be done in an intimate setting outdoors. Also, an outdoor classroom could be a school garden or flower patch where students can discover plants, animals, and insects. “A few picnic tables in a shady or lawn area, and use of bird houses or butterfly bushes for observations” can be utilized for learning in the outdoors (Winters et al., 2010, p. 248H). Also, this can be much less expensive than taking field trips to places away from the school property.