Through a variety of features and facilities on two levels, the 4,300-square-foot Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center offers an entirely new set of learning experiences to Monticello visitors of all ages.
The three classrooms on the lower level of the Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center allows Monticello to greatly expand the number of students it can accommodate on its curriculum-related Extended Tours (more than 14,000 in the 2007-08 academic year) while also providing space for workshops, talks, and other educational programs for both young people and adults. Each classroom can accommodate 30 people, with a moveable wall between two of the rooms allowing for creation of a 60-person space. The classrooms feature digital projectors and are wired for various media.
Also on its lower level, the Smith Education Center has a reservation, ticketing, and reception area exclusively for use by student and youth groups featuring a colorful wall mural by noted artist William Woodward of Marshall, Va., and staff offices. The building's lower level also is the home of the Griffin Discovery Room, an inventive hands-on activity space for young visitors and their family members.
On the courtyard level, the Smith Education Center houses the state-of-the-art theater where Thomas Jefferson's World, Monticello's new introductory film, is shown. The theater space also serves as a venue for talks, performances, and other events.