New greenhouses on campus

Over the summer, two large greenhouses were installed near the Harrison Street Building. The two structures cost a total of $30,000.The structures were bought and shipped from Oregon Valley Greenhouse and Structures in Aurora. Each greenhouse measures 1800 square feet, and it took one week to assemble both structures.

Dr. Mark Sytsma, associate professor of environmental biology, has been waiting several years for the greenhouses to become a reality.

The greenhouses have been talked about for years. Before the addition of the two new greenhouses, a single 1,000 square foot greenhouse on top of Science Building 2 did not provide adequate space.

Of the two greenhouse structures, one greenhouse is devoted to Sytsma’s research. His research focuses on the growth of underwater plants. Facilities will use the other greenhouse for the growth of annuals and other plants from seed.

Also, both structures will be used over the winter to store plants. “Even with an unheated greenhouse you can keep plants alive during the winter,” horticulturist and Landscaping & Services Supervisor Melissa DeYoung said.

“The greenhouses show the growth of programs on campus,” the Director of Facilities Brian Chase said.

“The campus will save a lot of money by growing annuals ourselves, and before we had no space for growing from seed,” DeYoung said.

Complaints about the two large greenhouses occupying valuable urban green space have been made.

Over the next several years the administration plans on building a permanent home for both greenhouses, possibly on top of a new building.