New High School Greenhouse Finds a Home

As walls go up at the new high school site and the project moves along 86K under budget, the Clarke County School Board turned its attention to selecting a location for the new greenhouse.

The structure became a point of contention last year as initial plans indicated that the greenhouse would remain at the current high school site. After several discussions with stake holders and community members, the board voted in September to locate the greenhouse on the new site. While the original school site plan included a provisional site for the greenhouse, the board took the opportunity to review other possible locations within the new campus to determine the best fit.

With site plans unfurled before them, the Clarke County School Board pondered four possible locations for the greenhouse.   Urban Engineering representative, John Erikson spoke to board members at the monthly construction meeting in January and laid out the pros and cons for each possible location.

There were several factors the board considered in determining the best site:

  • Proximity to the Vo-Ag area in the new building
  • Utility access
  • Physical access by road for supplies and materials
  • Exposure to the sun
  • Room for perimeter fencing and expansion.

The four locations offered were as follows (See attached plan for locations):

Option # 1 – This is the closest to the provisional site on the site plan. It is close to the Vo-Ag area and is accessible by a gravel emergency road and would be easy to service with utilities. On the negative side, it is very close to Mosby and the new roundabout. It is also situated directly in front of the large windows in the library and would consume the view out of those windows. This location could also be partially shaded by the main school structure.

Option #2 – This location is even closer to the Vo-Ag area and would be easy to service with utilities. However it would be over part of the   buried storm sewer and roof drain. Jon Erikson pointed out that this can be done, but if there was ever a problem with the sewer or drain, it would require extensive work to repair.   Other drawbacks include, no road access, shaded exposure from the main building and limited room for fencing and expansion.

Option #3
– This location is situated across the travel way but is located where a cross walk is already included in the plans. It is also completely unobstructed for exposure and would not present any challenges for utilities. The travel way also provide good access by road to the greenhouse. On the downside it is slightly farther from the Vo-Ag area and would impact the playing fields.

Option #4 – This option represented an “out of the box” suggestion of moving the structure to the north side of Mosby Blvd. While the area provides abundant room for expansion, it presents many challenges. It does provide excellent exposure but the costs of utilities could add as much as $80K to the project. It is also far from the main building and would entail adding a crosswalk on the extension to Mosby.

School board members discussed the options and identified several problems with Option #4 in particular the additional cost. Through the course of the discussion it also became apparent that, in order to use the land north of Mosby , the School Board would need a new site plan with the town. Sites 1 and 2 were also discussed for the mentioned challenges and site #3 began to emerge as the best option.

When it came time to decide, all board members identified Option #3 as the best location. The board voted unanimously to approve site #3. Site plans will proceed with the option as the location for the new green house on the new high school campus.


  1. concerned says:

    Thank you Clarke County School Board for placing the greenhouse at the new high school and for taking the time to position it well. In this day and age of “Buy Organic” and “Buy Local” this building has the capability of making a big difference for our community in the future.