Future for City’s Greenhouse

City High’s greenhouse has been revamped and it now has a new outlook


Haileigh Steffen

Students help maintain plants for classes and extracurricular activities.

Noah Seebeck, Reporter

The greenhouse at City High was built when the rest of the original building was constructed, but its use has been nothing less than inconsistent since 1937. 

“It’s been used off and on since this building has been built. Some teachers have really utilized it, some have not,” Mrs. Lestina, the head of the gardening club, said. 

In the past, the previously dirt-floored greenhouse was used for storage before being utilized for a gardening club or for other class activities, but it has since been cleaned out and the floor has been upgraded to concrete. The tables are now stainless steel instead of wood, and the heating system has been consolidated into one efficient system. 

The temperature has always been a problem in the greenhouse, with huge swings from up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to 20 degrees the next day. To hopefully combat this, a shade has been installed on the roof of the greenhouse to prevent some of the sunlight and heat from coming in. Vents that are stationed at the top of the greenhouse can also be opened to regulate the temperature between inside and outside, so the plants don’t suffer as greatly. 

These repairs and general maintenance with the greenhouse can become costly with time, so the gardening club is looking to sell plants to help compensate for some of that cost. In the past, grants have been awarded to the gardening club for various things, most recently being a pollinator grant from the AmeriCorps that was given during the 2019 school year. This grant helped to stimulate growth and distribution of pollinator plants throughout the district. 

A benefit to having and utilizing a greenhouse at a high school is the hands-on aspect of the gardening process.

“I’m hoping to utilize [the greenhouse] for some of the AP Environmental Science classes as well. Seeing how much it takes to get a plant ready to grow to get the produce from it is amazing,” Mrs. Lestina said.

Some other future collaborations that the greenhouse could encompass are using it in the biology classes, and including the special education curriculums for other projects.