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Proposed Greenhouse

A photo of a greenhouse similar to the one being proposed to being built at Osage High School.

Agriculture students at Osage High School could soon be testing out their green thumbs if a proposed greenhouse is built.

Osage High School agriculture instructor, Malayne Meyer presented a proposal to construct a 30 foot by 48 foot greenhouse be constructed south of the high school agriculture room, during the Osage School Board of Education meeting held on Monday, June 17.

Though in the early stages of development, the estimated cost of the project would be $130,000 - $140,000. At this time, there is a small amount of seed money on hand for developing the project. Meyer said a couple of grants have been applied for, but a large portion of the cost would come from future grants and fundraising efforts.

“Sixty two percent of current Iowa FFA Chapters already have a greenhouse,” Meyer said. “Both Riceville and St Ansgar are among those chapters. We currently have 71 FFA Members and there are 29 incoming freshmen. This would be a benefit to the current ag programs.”

Meyer shared five of the top benefits for having such a structure on campus. They included: provide real life experiences, provide laboratory experiences and theories studies, promote character development for students, provide agriculture experiences and provide ties between the school and community.

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Some of the proposed learning activities in the greenhouse would include propagation, grafting, and pruning of plants, floral design and green house management. The building would also serve the community through plant sales and workshop events.

The proposed 1,440-square-foot structure would feature high technology such as automatically controlled vents in the roof and side-panels, a programed drip irrigation system and climate control.

“The floor will be full concrete with a drain in the middle to hold down on mold,” Meyer said. “The unattached greenhouse will have double doors on both ends of the building and the structure will be built to withstand Iowa’s snow loads.

“Because the ag room will now be close to the new front entrance of the school, we want the greenhouse to look good.”

After Meyer’s presentation, school board president, Rick Sletten, said, “We are encouraging you to go on with this project.”

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