Construction is underway on a new high tunnel greenhouse at Colonie Central High School.
The project, being overseen by school staff and erected by volunteers, is designed to bring together South Colonie students and staff as they learn about gardening, food sourcing, and botany and provide the Colonie community access to fresh vegetables.
Phase I of construction was completed on Saturday, Oct. 12, with the metal framework and plastic “hoop house” roofing set in place. About a dozen volunteers including high school teachers, parents, school board member Colleen Gizzi, students, and even graduates joined in.
“We were so happy with the enthusiasm and support of the kids and adults,” said CCHS Social Studies teacher Erin Lasky. Lasky and her colleagues John Gehres (Technology) and John Kilroy (Environmental Science) are supervising the project.
The greenhouse is located in a gated, fenced in area adjacent to the high school football field between the solar panels and the school access road. The greenhouse came as a kit and will measure approximately 20’ X 17’ or 350 square feet in total area.
Spikes and ratchet straps secure the metal frame to the ground. The roof is a hoop-style plastic covering and the flooring is a weed-killing fabric.
Once construction is completed, the planting, harvesting and weeding will be done by high school and middle school student groups from iCARE, Eco/Germinator Clubs, Technology and Life Skills classes and the Best Buddies program. High school staff and community members can also volunteer to help maintain the plants and structure beginning next summer.
Looking ahead, the high school hopes to add outdoor raised plant beds to increase the growing space and possibly a Plant Science course to the curriculum.
“Stay tuned for more opportunities to help (volunteer) as we continue construction of the greenhouse ends and the raised beds,” Lasky said.