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Outdoor Discovery Center

The Outdoor Discovery Center at Lausanne is the only one of its kind in the city of Memphis or internationally. As an IB World School committed to helping our students gain a global perspective, it was designed to help students broaden their perspective.

The center has 14 uniquely different structures which represent a tour of the world and sit on multi-colored turf which is a replica of a Rand McNally map of the world. The flags of 18 different countries fly over the playground and students can travel from Cape Horn, South America to the Great Wall of China without touching the ground, traveling through six continents and interacting with seven monuments on their way. Students can zipline from the Horn of Africa to Australia without getting their feet wet, climb Big Ben, balance on the Eiffel Tower and explore the Taj Mahal. The playground also provides a quiet, reflective place out of the sun for children to interact and engage in imaginative play under the Bedouin tent over Africa. The playground structures provide 61 individual play events with 95 themed custom elements, 70 of which are unique to this site at Lausanne.\The Outdoor Discovery Center embodies the global footprint and culture of Lausanne where the student body is represented by 58 different countries. This new space will not only be seen as a playground for the students but will serve as an educational tool and an extension of the classroom environment.

The Lausanne class of 2024 had a large part in helping design the Outdoor Discovery Center. The then third graders shared their visions for the new and innovative space as a culmination of their hands-on invention project last year. After they submitted their designs, they also helped raise money for the effort through their annual third grade marketplace project.

Lausanne broke ground on the Outdoor Discovery Center at the end of the school year in 2015 and completed the project by the opening of school that August. The former playground equipment was carefully removed and reinstalled at Promise Academy with whom Lausanne has a long-term partnership.

Recreational Concepts out of Cookeville, Tenn. was the dealership used, Landscape Structures Inc. (LSI) out of Delano, Minn. were the designers and manufacturers and Forever Lawn out of North Canton, Ohio manufactured and laid the turf.