LUXEMBURG, Wis. – A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Agriscience Center at Luxemburg-Casco High School will be held on Tuesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. The event will feature school officials, along with members of the local and state agriculture community.
With the general public unable to attend due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions, a live stream of the ceremony will be available at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88946331666?pwd=d2JqSm9iZ0pxd3dHSDNSWkRYaDUvZz09. Speakers and attendees will include Superintendent Glenn Schlender, Agricultural Educator Justine Selk, the L-C Board of Education and school leaders, members and alumni of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), county agriculture officials and Project Contractor Mike Neubert.
Use of the new building began during the current semester, and it ultimately will augment the Agriscience Department’s ability to prepare young adults for the various agriculture career pathways. A full complement of educational opportunities will utilize the facility when students return in August for the 2021-22 school year.
To this point, student activities in the facility have included planting, plant care, harvesting lettuce for the school lunch line, and readying hanging baskets and budding plants for public floral sales. Chickens also have been in the coop, with students caring for the animals and sharing egg production with the district’s culinary department.
“We are excited to see our vision of agricultural instruction – with hands-on, authentic experiences – come to life through the Agriscience Center,” says Schlender. “With agriculture and dairy production being such an important part of our community, we will be well positioned to prepare students for careers in these areas using the new facility. We have received tremendous support and assistance with this project from the local ag and FFA leadership, and can’t thank them enough.”
The Luxemburg-Casco Agriscience Center has two separate instructional areas: a 40-by-70-foot barn and a 30-by-50-foot greenhouse. The barn contains three box stalls, which will house non-companion animals during the school day. Students will have hands-on learning opportunities with the live animals, which include horses, cattle and goats.
An arena area with bleachers to seat students, allowing for animals to be brought out and teaching demonstrations given to larger groups, is a primary component of the Agriscience Center. It also contains a loft area for storage purposes, two restrooms and a headhouse.
A headhouse is the service area attached to a greenhouse, typically housing the central temperature-control equipment and providing work space. The L-C headhouse will be utilized for aquaponics and hydroponics tables, along with as a place to start seedlings.
The greenhouse features a technologically advanced watering system with automated environmental controls. Computerized machinery controls roof shades that provide the desired light within the greenhouse, along with creating energy savings by keeping temperature levels consistent.
A variety of subject-related classes of the high school will utilize the new Agriscience Center, according to Selk. These courses include Small Animal Science, Large Animal Science, Agribusiness, Exploratory Agriscience, and Landscaping.
The greenhouse will be used to grow vegetables and for the district’s annual flower production, with an initial foray into public floral commerce taking place this Spring. It is expected to eventually become a large-scale, student-run business.
Outside of the Agriscience Center extensive greenery will be planted. Future plans include the incorporation of fruit trees, raised beds and multiple landscapes for instructional purposes.
Future Farmers of America also will utilize the new L-C Agriscience Center for its SAE Project (Supervised Agricultural Experience), according to Selk, enhancing the district’s relationship with FFA. SAE are hands-on, feet-wet projects that allow students in FFA to learn by doing.
The new facility was constructed at a cost of approximately $660,000. M.R. Neubert Construction of Green Bay served as the general contractor of the project, which began in early summer of 2020.