Southwest school district budgets $32,320 for new greenhouse

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Construction begins in April for facility set to be done in May

WASHBURN -- The Southwest school district plans to have a more functional 1,440-square-foot greenhouse constructed by May.

The total cost is $73,875, and the district's portion is $32,320 since Chris Hunt, Southwest High School and Middle School vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, received a grant for the turnkey greenhouse project.

"I wrote the grant because it was going to cost so much more to fix our current greenhouse that it would be more beneficial for us if we went ahead and rebuilt another greenhouse that was maintained like it should be every year," said Hunt, who has been with the

district for two years.

The 1,440-square-foot greenhouse on the grounds now is more than 7 years old, he said.

"The greenhouse has not been maintained properly in the last three years," Hunt said.

The Southwest Board of Education accepted the bid from Hummert International. Dearborn-based Jamison Construction Co. will start constructing the new polycarbonate plastic, gable-styled greenhouse in April, aiming to finish by May.

Its parameters state that it could withstand winds up to 90 miles per hour, and it could withstand up to 4 tons of snow, Hunt said. The greenhouse plans to have heating and cooling.

Hunt said the greenhouse management and ag science II classes will use it.

This month, the ag construction and ag power classes proposed to properly tear down the current greenhouse, according to the contractor's specifications.

The new greenhouse aims to hold many types of plants, such as hanging baskets, vegetables and bedding plants.

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