Biology to plant greenhouse on campus

Unlike many of the greenhouses made after the Civil War that were constructed using glass plate negatives from Matthew Brady’s photographs, the greenhouse recently purchased by the Biology Department is made of Lexan, a plastic substance. Although it is still undetermined when construction on the greenhouse will begin, the area behind the Student Center that currently houses the Art Department’s kilns is being set aside for the project. / photo by Amy Borer
Unlike many of the greenhouses made after the Civil War that were constructed using glass plate negatives from Matthew Brady’s photographs, the greenhouse recently purchased by the Biology Department is made of Lexan, a plastic substance. Although it is still undetermined when construction on the greenhouse will begin, the area behind the Student Center that currently houses the Art Department’s kilns is being set aside for the project. / photo by Amy Borer

by Oscar G. Borello
Staff Writer

Along with many of the cosmetic changes around campus, yet another project is under way. The Biology Department is waiting for the O.K. to start work on a greenhouse to be located behind the Student Center where the kilns for pottery are currently located.

It has been a long time since the school has had a greenhouse. The last one was in 1988, located on the roof of Founders Hall. It not only housed different varieties of plant life, but also some animals.

According to Dr. Harvey Good, professor of biology, the greenhouse did not work out because of severe windstorms and shoddy construction. The school said, then, a new greenhouse would be up in two weeks.

Since then, two weeks has turned into six years and the school has found the budget to invest in a project such as this.

This greenhouse will be a place where students will be able to conduct experiments within the Biology Department, work on senior projects, and research can be conducted there as a school lab.

Dr. Good said, “We have been limited in some of our typical experiments with the restrictive parameters involving light and temperature.”

With more control of the environment, though, more experiments will be possible.

Lexan, a new plastic material used for the construction, utilizes energy in an efficient way. The frame is comprised mostly of corrugated steel and some aluminum. The panels are double-sided, which traps air into spaces and insulates while retaining the qualities required of a solarium.

The greenhouse will have air conditioning, a heater and humidifier but because of the material used, it will remain comparatively inexpensive to maintain and operate.

The greenhouse is to be 30 feet long and 12 feet wide. It will have an area for potting storage, preparation rooms in addition to the actual greenhouse itself. Brian Worley, director of facilities management, is in charge of the building operation.

The place itself is being expanded with about three of the kilns being removed and possibly relocated. Worley said, “The Art Department will not lose any space because of the project.”

The greenhouse was purchased at Connelly’s hardware in Pomona and was to be installed after initial slab work and block walls were in place. But because of setbacks, such as questions of electrical supply and location, the project has yet to be completed.

The major problem has been city approval. The sewer system to be used had not been approved as a receptacle for fertilizer and other such waste materials. Thus, the plans have been put on hold for the time being until the problems can be rectified and a building license can be attained.

The total cost for the greenhouse will be approximately $60,000.

The department also has many orchid plants which are being grown in other places. These plants will be moved to the greenhouse and will be under the supervision of the department.

Oscar G. Borello
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Amy Borer, Features Editor
Amy Borer
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