St. Mary’s Bay Academy’s ambitious ‘green’ project is off the ground now that a foundation has been laid for a greenhouse.
Teacher Arthur Hatt said the greenhouse project began in early April with students in the Options and Opportunities (O2) program and construction technology classes clearing the land of shrubs and brush. “Once the land was cleared, the surveyor came on site and students were able to provide assistance,” said Hatt. “They were on hand when the land was excavated.”
Students learned to use a transit to make sure the ground was level, said teacher Earle Manzer, and filled in the ground with rocks and sand according to the engineer’s specifications. “They did a good portion of the manual labor.”
The construction technology class built and installed the forms for the concrete slab or foundation, and O2 students installed the Styrofoam and in-floor heating pipes before the concrete was poured.
Once the concrete was delivered, a local mason came on site to assist the students to place the concrete.
As of this week one row of concrete bricks was laid for weather protection and the students are ready to frame the walls. “We’re pretty much on schedule,” said Manzer. “We should have this first phase completed by the end of the school year.”
Both teachers said that the rest of the student body is taking an interest in the progress of the greenhouse at the back of their school. “The biology teacher Jennifer Thibault is the most interested as she will be the lead person in the operation of the greenhouse next year,” said Hatt. “She has been busy visiting local greenhouses and talking to different operators about how this is all run.”