Greenhouse Will Be Located on New School Site

Support for the agriculture program was unanimous at last night’s school board construction meeting, but direction for the program was split. As the board wrestles with space issues and surplus dollars in the construction budget, their decision as to the location of shop space and a greenhouse will determine whether the agriculture program is split between two campuses. A split could mean that approximately 250 students will have to be transported by buses to the old high school campus in order to complete the “hands-on” portion of their courses.

During the meeting the board discussed several options and the position of the members was consistent that the best case scenario was to have a unified high school campus that provides agriculture and horticulture training on the same site as the rest of the high school classes.

Referring to the effort superintendent Mike Murphy said, “ At this time in the life of this community, it’s about setting a tone for the future and that tone is getting all these kids together and celebrating this really big success that you have helped along as a School Board.”

School Board Chair, Robina Bouffault presented detailed information on existing facilities and the proposed shop area in the new high school. Her assessment showed that the new high school represents a reduction in space for the agriculture shop . This point was questioned by Principal Werner based on information from the architect. The discrepancy seemed to arise from Ms. Bouffault’s interpretation of usable space and actual space. In the end, the consensus was that the space represents a slight increase and would have a configuration that allowed for more flexibility.

Talks then turned to the addition of a greenhouse at the new high school. Currently there is a provision for a 5000 square foot greenhouse on the new site. Discussion centered on what the actual size would need to be. A 5000 square foot greenhouse would be 5 times the current size at the high school. Educators in the audience were asked to comment on the proposed size and indicated that 5K was far in excess of what would be needed. The consensus was that the current size of approximately   1000 sqft + a head house (an enclosed building attached to the greenhouse) would be more than adequate.

These points were then wrapped into the big question to educators in attendance. With the proposed agriculture shop space and a new greenhouse, could the agriculture and horticulture classes stay on site? The answer was a resounding yes. This apparent solution to the issue circumvented any further discussion of a larger agriculture building on the north side of Mosby and spurred board member Barbara Lee to motion to pass a resolution in support of building a greenhouse on the new school site.

Chairman Bouffault asked if the motion could be tabled until the next meeting to come up with specifics on the size and cost of the greenhouse. Jennifer Welliver said she wanted to vote on the issue and seconded the motion.   Chairman Bouffault was reticent to support the motion stating, “I think that this is irresponsible now. I don’t know the cost I don’t know the size, I can not vote for this now.”

After several other questions the chair asked for a vote on the motion. Jennifer Welliver, Barbara Lee, and Janet Alger voted for the motion, and Robinna Bouffault voted against. Emily Rhodes stated she had not been able to ask all of her questions and after being offered additional time, declined and abstained from the vote.

The motion passed. The board will now need to work with educators and architects to determine the actual specifications for the greenhouse and the estimated cost.

Comments

  1. If space is limited on the new school lot, what would it take to develop a eco-friendly rooftop and build a greenhouse and shop on top of the school?

  2. Thought this subject was decided and everyone would be collaborating to have an excellent program under one roof at the new high school? Think again! There are still people in the community trying to drum up support for the 2.5 million dollar facility on the northern side of Moseby. Why, you ask? Well somehow or another people seem to believe that Farm Bureau has committed themselves to this facility. Have they voted on it as a group with the majority stating they would support it? Well no, but we should get rid of the reasonablly priced, upgraded area that we have decided on because, well, a few people from the Farm Bureau said we should….. Is our Ag teacher up in arms because he won’t be able to fit his tractor in the building as has been rumored in the community? Well, not if you ask him, he is ecstatic the school board voted the way they did. But, oh no! Could there be problems with the town, wastewater, etc.? Not if you speak with the town, they indicate the greenhouse is on the original plans and minor adjustments are all that will be necessary. So, why is the conveniently located, economically feasible plan of a greenhouse and Ag Dept under attack at the new school? Muddy waters, and misinformation. If there ends up being a Vo Ag bulding built somewhere for some price in the future, that is great! But we need to take advantage of the realistic plan now to ensure our students have uninterrupted access to our Ag/Hort programs. Are we going to waste money bussing students for two years while waiting for this “dream” facility to be built. And, at what point is the county going to have to come in and financially help out this new center? When someone has to figure out how to pay the salaries of the extra employees we will need to run it? Keep your heads on straight, school board, please! And citizens, if you would like to support a cost effective, educational program for our students, please be at the County Goverment Building at 5:30 Monday evening to support it.

    • and at 1:00 on Tuesday (for those of you who can get the day off).

    • greenhousesupporter says:

      I guess the powers that be thought these ‘ole’ farmers do not have enough sense to research information being circulated in the community before making a decision based on the actual facts.