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ECHS ag students building greenhouse on school campus

Construction of a greenhouse at Escambia County High School is nearly complete.

For the past few weeks, students in the school’s agriscience program have helped build the metal frame and enclosed the greenhouse with plastic. The concrete slab, laid as the foundation, was poured just before Christmas, Agriscience Teacher Rodney Owens said.

Owens said the agriscience program began this school year, and its purpose is to try and instill work ethic and let the students experience new things.

“We started the year working small engines, and then moved up to the old lawnmower the school had,” he said. “They got it operational, and learned how to drive it.”

Owens said before long, the students took the mantle of mowing the grass in the big field next to the school adjacent to Tom Byrne Park.

Owens said the students also have been getting into wood working as well. The program, he said, is self-sustainable through the sale of benches and soon, vegetables from the greenhouse.

Owens said the construction of the greenhouse is being funded through grants from the Alabama RC&D Council and the Alabama Farmer’s Federation.

Owens said the main thing he is excited about is teaching the students some common sense.

“We’re out here outside, and we’re learning how to use tools, wood working and reading a tape measure,” he said. “They’re, for the most part, having a good time, and learning a lot as well.”

Owens said once the tables are built for the vegetables, he’s aiming to have tomatoes, peppers, squash and other vegetables for sale.

He added that there may be a community garden added in the area as well, and that the community itself has been largely supportive of the greenhouse project.