A Stunning Home Base Campus for River Grove!

We are excited to present the updated design direction for River Grove’s site in downtown Stillwater, MN.

Click any slide to go to the full presentation of the Manitou Fund Education and Arts Center, future home of River Grove elementary school.


The architectural firm MSR Design has developed a versatile space in the Zephyr location that will fit the school’s varied needs. Plans have quickly advanced from an initial concept stage to more specific design directions with light-filled interiors and a natural, soothing color palette. The exterior areas will be reimagined with green spaces, a large outdoor deck, and additional outdoor learning spaces. River Grove will be the building’s primary occupant; modular furnishings and design will allow the space to be converted to a theater when the school is not in use.

River Grove Home Base and Field Site

The building is designed with infrastructure in mind to be River Grove’s home base while students have expertly programmed outdoor experiences at the 800-acre Warner property, the nearby Lumberjack Landing, and many additional sites that make up part of the River Grove identity.


  • Large windows will be added to the back of the building to allow in plenty natural daylight.
  • Several outdoor spaces immediately around the building include a very large deck on the back. The areas will be integrated into the nearby network of green and play spaces.
  • The color palette will be neutral and calming—wood tones, interior plantings, natural colors.
  • Furnishings will be modular and varied to support nontraditional learning scenarios.
  • Buildings materials used in the new construction will be “red-list” free and durable.
  • Acoustical treatments will be added for sound mitigation throughout.
  • The layout and entrances will be updated to be accessible.
  • Support spaces include breakout areas, meeting spaces, storage, occupational therapy, a warming kitchen, and gathering areas.
  • Classrooms are sized to fit anticipated enrollment.
  • Security and safety systems will be state-of-the-art.
  • Traffic flow has been studied and planned carefully to accommodate parent transportation, buses, and staff parking.

Comments are closed.