'Treehouse classroom' under construction at local school

Animal Planet's 'Treehouse Masters' building innovative classroom

SAN ANTONIO – Pete Nelson, a reality star on the Animal Planet's "Treehouse Masters," made a stop in San Antonio Tuesday. 

The show, recently renewed, has been growing in popularity. Nelson and his crew tour the country building elaborate treehouses.

"That's what happens when you're living the dream, you get your own show because it just gets out there that somebody's doing this," said Nelson of his hit show.

His most recent venture brought him to San Antonio to build a treehouse for the Anne Frank Inspire Academy. The academy is a free charter school set to open this fall on the city's northwest side.   

After being approached by the school, Nelson, who typically builds treehouses for adults, jumped at the opportunity to build a unique classroom for children.

"Having a chance to come and put in a treehouse where you know there's going to be a lot of kids, you got to do it," said Nelson.

The idea of building a classroom in a tree came from the school's superintendent, Bruce Rockstroh.  He believed bringing students outside to nature could inspire learning.

"They're already super excited about the treehouse and being to be out here," said Rockstroh of his students.

The treehouse will serve as the ultimate outdoor classroom, with a seating capacity of 20 to 25 students.  It will have a staircase and even a 24-foot slide for students to use as an exit. Benches and skylights can also be found inside the treehouse.

"This is the most exciting part of the entire school," said an enthusiastic Rockstroh.

"To see the actual structure coming together like it is; I'm thrilled," added Nelson.

The Anne Frank Inspire Academy is currently under construction and is slated to be completed by the start of the approaching school year.

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