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Elementary school makes place for college greenhouse

Demolition begins Wednesday morning at the former Longfellow Elementary School located near Morningside College. Crews will be clearing the two-and-a-half-acre plot to make way for the brand new Rosen Ag Center for Morningside.

The Rosen Ag Center will house a 3,300 square-foot greenhouse, a headhouse, an aquaponics room, grow towers, and two production house rooms. The area will also house space for outdoor learning areas for agriculture production, research, and demonstration.

Dr. Thomas Paulsen the Department Head of the Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Program says that the Ag Center will further expand its opportunities to give hands-on experience to the students, which is very important for the industry.

"Plus the new greenhouse is going to give them an opportunity to see a lot more of the new technologies in agriculture, things like aquaponics and hydroponics, local greens and grow towers and a lot of the new technology in watering systems as we produce greenhouse based crops," said Dr. Thomas Paulsen, Department Head of Applied Agriculture and Food Studies at Morningside College.

The students got to present their ideas in class about their visions for the new agriculture center. The students worked in groups to present their business plans and offer input into the center. One of those students says that the new agriculture program will close the gap between the amenities other state colleges have, and in turn, expand the program.

"This Ag Center will help us close the features benefit gap from the bigger land grant universities. This will give students who are on the border about coming to a small college because we might not have the same amenities as a big university, well with this greenhouse and ag center we will now have the same amenities as some land grant universities," said Coltin Schachtener, Student.

The Rosen Ag Center and the Lags Greenhouse were paid for by donations from alumni Tom Rosen and the family of the late Dave "Lags" Lageschulte.

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