GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Roper Mountain Science Center broke ground on a $15 million facility this evening.

Once it’s complete, the exhibits inside will teach students and visitors about sustainability.

For 20 years, an amphitheater sat here unused, but will soon be replaced with the center’s new $15 million Environmental Science and Sustainability Center. Twelve million dollars was funded by the School District of Greenville County and the Roper Mountain Science Center Association funded $3 million.

The center will have a cafeteria, where students with disabilities can train to enter the work force, plus several classrooms and two large exhibits, including one called the water story.

 “You’ll be migrating through the Greenville water shed,” says Thomas Riddle, Assistant Director of Roper Mountain Science Center. “We’ll be telling the story of why it’s important to protect water sheds and the unique history that Greenville’s water shed has.”

The exhibits were designed in collaboration with the Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University and will be a model for other school districts across the nation.

Live reptiles that interact with our local water cycle will be on display and construction plans involve a sustainably built building with solar panels, energy efficient heating and cooling and water conserving plumbing.

Construction is expected to be completed by Fall of 2020.