Saint Mary’s University, well known for its Sobeys School of Business, is trying to make a new name for itself.

On Tuesday, the campus expanded with the announcement of the university’s first School of the Environment.

“The School of the Environment will be working outside the borders of the university,” says Tony Charles, the school’s director.

The news comes with a new living lab, where students can study the environment outside of the classroom. It includes natural rock formations, landscapes and a community garden.

“It makes us realize the importance of having an outdoor classroom where we can go outdoors and learn,” says environmental sciences student Ryan Hamilton.

The School of the Environment will be home to four academic programs including environmental studies, environmental sciences and two degrees in geography.

“Having a School of Environment really brings us together, the programs and people we have across campus that are passionate about environmental issues and challenges,” says Charles.

Environmental sciences student Alex Doran will be one of the first graduates from the School of Environment this spring.

“The fact is that there are serious issues surrounding the environment right now and to be able to have a school that will focus on resolving these problems right now is huge,” says Doran.

Saint Mary’s hopes the new school will take root in the academic community and further the university’s values of sustainability.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl