The Board of Trustees of Sunman-Wudd High School heard the idea at their May meeting.
(St. Leon, Ind.) – The Sunman-Dirbor Community School Corporation’s agricultural program could be a major expansion.
Teachers Roy Johnson and Maccord Snyder spoke with Brad Dawson, a member of the Alumni Association, at the May 12 Sunman-Dearborn Community School Board meeting, and suggested that the school corporation expand its agricultural program.
Dawson proposes the creation of an agricultural education center for the Summer-Expensive Community Schools. The proposed 70,000-square-foot facility will be built on 23.48 acres on the site of the old North Dirbor Elementary School – bringing together agriculture, science, horticulture and natural resources in one learning environment.
East Central High School currently has two ag rooms and a laboratory, a large ag mechanics shop, a second floor greenhouse and work room, and several outdoor gardens. However, high school lacks space in animal science.
In the Middle East Middle School there is a classroom and a laboratory, an adjoining agricultural shop and an outdoor garden.
Johnson described the facilities as excellent but said there was a need for expansion as the program grew.
The proposed AG education center includes classrooms, meeting and conference areas, commercial kitchens, restrooms that meet ADA, and vocational training facilities. Plans include rented campuses for college colleges such as Ivy Tech and Vincent and office space to pay for the facility.
Dawson said the leased space will create opportunities for student internships and additional higher education opportunities to bring all county agricultural and natural resources under one roof.
It is estimated that it will cost about $ 15 million to build the Sunman-Wudorbor Community School Agricultural Education Center.
Dawson added that there are great opportunities for county, state and / or federal funding, grants and private donations.
In terms of staffing, he said, the corporation should hire one more ag teacher and possibly a facility manager with teaching skills. Volunteers can be crucial to managing the building with caregivers.
Since the school corporation is initially evaluating purchases from the community, other logistics, such as how the students will go to and from the facility, have not yet been met.
Ag teachers Roy Johnson and Maccord Snyder explained the importance of expansion as the agricultural program grew. According to Snyder, about 300 undergraduate students have been excluded from AG this year due to lack of classrooms and teachers. As a result, some students will not be able to join the FFA due to the national law that requires students to enroll in the AG class to join the group.
Overall, the SDCS Department of Agriculture has a 3-year vision for
- Provide additional animal science opportunities to students on both ECHS and ECMS campuses.
- Provide additional stepping stone for ECMS students to take an interest in agriculture and science and the FFA.
- Provide ample opportunities for many ECHS students to succeed in agriculture after graduation.
Although the agricultural education center is not productive, it is planned to renovate the East Central Ag Elementary School in the summer of 2023. Snyder lists three options for middle school
- Small animal laboratory with students
- Aquaponics Lab with students
- ECMS Lack of Life Sciences Laboratory (Students HS)