Sherrard High School set to open new $625,000 greenhouse

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:09 AM CDT
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MILAN, Ill. (KWQC) - The Sherrard High School is hosting a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for their new $625,000 greenhouse that was completed in November 2022.

The new greenhouse replaces the previous structure with an increased square footage totaling 2,400 square feet and includes a new addition of a ‘head house’. The previous structure was built in 1994 and was only 1,440 square feet.

The new greenhouse will include major updates such as a double layer rigid polycarbonate walls and roof which will replace layers of plastic that covered the old greenhouse, heated flooring, weather station with an automated interior shade close and roof vent, and a high intensity grow light system.

Bill Hammes, the agriculture instructor at Sherrard High School, said there are several ideas to fully use the new technology available via the greenhouse.

“Some of our ideas are a hydroponic plant production - raising tomatoes, peppers, lettuce without the use of soil; aquaculture - raising fish in a recirculating tank system; aquaponics - using an aquaculture system that provides water and nutrients for a hydroponic system; and focused research - working with agricultural industry professionals to assist with research trials,” Hammes said.

Construction on the project began in April 2022 and was completed late last year and is now ready to be used by the district and the community.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. followed by an open house to the public.