AUBURN – The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation has named its environmental science education building at the Alabama 4-H Center near Columbiana after longtime Alabama Cooperative Extension System Director W. Gaines Smith.
Smith’s Extension leadership has spanned 45 years, and he has held leadership positions at the county, district, regional and state levels. He has led ACES through times of tight budgets, organizational downsizing and the redesign of the programming process. He currently serves on the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees.
The $5.5 million environmental science education building is the first gold-certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) environmental education building in the eastern United States. Since its doors opened in 2007, the building has been used by more than 18,000 youth for a variety of educational programs. The facility has set a new standard in teaching Alabama’s children to be environmentally responsible and energy efficient.