The Luxemburg-Casco School District is putting final touches on its brand-new Agriscience Center. The new building, expected to be available for use during the second semester of the 2020-21 academic year, will augment the Agriscience Department’s ability to prepare students for the various agriculture career pathways.
“Luxemburg-Casco sits in the midst of a vibrant area for agricultural and dairy production. Our goal is to help create the next generation of agricultural and dairy producers and workforce through classroom instruction and community partnerships,” says Superintendent Glenn Schlender. “The best way to achieve career readiness for our students is to provide them with hands-on, authentic experiences.”
A variety of subject-related classes of the high school will utilize the new Luxemburg-Casco Agriscience Center, according to Justine Selk, the district’s Agricultural Educator. These courses include Small Animal Science, Large Animal Science, Agribusiness, Exploratory Agriscience, and Landscaping.
Within the new facility are two separate areas: a 30-by-50-foot greenhouse and a barn, measuring 40 feet by 70 feet. The interior walls and ceiling of the barn are constructed with Trusscore, a waterproof and hygienic material that is easy to clean.
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.
Chickens will be kept on site year-round in a designated chicken coop area, which is sealed off to prevent dust from traveling to the nearby barn area.
The new Agriscience Center has an arena area, with bleachers to seat students, allowing for animals to be brought out and teaching demonstrations given to larger groups. 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 will be used to grow vegetables and for the district’s annual flower production. Floral sales to the public are expected to eventually become a student-run business.
Another goal is to someday team up with the district’s food service department to offer the students the option of produce grown at the Agriscience Center as part of their lunch service.
Outside of the Agriscience Center will be extensive greenery. Future plans include the incorporation of fruit trees, raised beds and multiple landscapes for instructional purposes.
“This building is going to be a great asset to the students of Luxemburg-Casco,” says Selk. “It will give them college- and career-ready skills that they can take with them anywhere they go. It also will provide them a better understanding of how food gets from field to fork and all of the processes in between.”
Future Farmers of America will utilize the new L-C ag facility 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 Luxemburg-Casco Agriscience Center has been 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 this year.