The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a focal point of South End Redevelopment. It offers a unique tourism and community experience that inspires people to celebrate, explore and care for the Flint Hills. The center is the result of a community dream born from the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals — including volunteers, elected officials, consultants, contractors and residents. Located in the heart of downtown Manhattan, the Discovery Center celebrates the importance of the geology, ecology and cultural history of the Flint Hills.
Construction of the Flint Hills Discovery Center began in the summer of 2010, with the facility opening to visitors in April 2012. The building meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. more than 85 percent of the building's materials and labor came from within 50 miles of the building site. For examples, the limestone walls were constructed using limestone quarried near Council Grove.