Concept Plan for Horticulture Remodel
Gateway’s President Bryan Albrecht, has announced plans to remodel and expand the horticulture program facility. This is in line with the Gateway’s goal of becoming a ‘model college’ thoughout the nation. From automotive to alternative energy to water quality, Gateway is taking the lead in training students for the ‘green jobs’ of the future. These green jobs will not only keep people employed but will also help create clean, vibrant, healthy communities with a high quality of living that will attract other sustainable industries and jobs .
Certainly horticulture is the original green industry! We are excited about how we will become the ‘model horticulture program’ of the future! We are working with advisory board members on curriculum changes that will help us fully utilize this new space. We are discussing ideas to provide horticulture students new opportunities for employment and trained workers for the horticulture industry. We currently offer an associate degree in horticulture. Students choose between two options of study, Landscape Design and Management or Greenhouse and Floral. We have always had a sustainable management focus in teaching students and this has only been emphasized with Bryan Albrecht’s leadership. We are the only floriculture program in the Wisconsin Technical College system so feel this is a strong market ‘niche’ that we want to strengthen. Our landscape option is moving from hand drawing to computer assisted design. Students also recieve excellent training in landscape maintenance which always is in demand and is an itegral part of site appropriate design.
Enrollment in Gateway’s horticulture program has been strong over the years and with the addition of a new advanced certificate program in Urban Farming, we are bursting at the seams! The original facility constructed in 1965 is in real need of remodeling. Enrollment projections include increases of at least 30% when the new facility is up and running.
The 1500sf addition will include a stae-of-the-art floral design lab, a plant science lab, a classroom and conference center, a retail garden center/floral lab, student commons and office space.
In addition to physical space the facility and greenhouses require infrustructure upgrades to the heating, cooling and electrical systems. We are working on coordinating some of these upgrades with faculty in related programs. HVAC and alternative energy are working on a geothermal system and the electrical engineer faculty will work with us on installing some greenhouse automation and computerized environmental controls for heating, venting, irrigation and lighting .
The addition will be added to the north side of the exisiting classroom space. The exisiting classroom will be incorporated into the additon and will include a green roof and water collection system. The entire facility will feature green building techniques and will be LEED certified.
The drawing shown above is the result of our first meeting with the architects from Partners in Design. We provided some feedback about this plan and made changes regarding moving plants on carts throughout the space from greenhouse to classrooms. We will meet again next month to finalize plans and construction is expected to begin in September.