I was sketching out a deck for the Wells Gray Research and Education Building today, and after a little research I came across these columns, used in the Johnson Wax Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The powers that be were a little skeptical if said columns would be structurally sound, so he performed a test.... by piling on sand bags!
Mr. Wright proved their integrity.
Although, this style of column could be a bit far-out for an Education building... out in the middle of the mountains. Still, it's something to keep at the back of my mind.