Ribbon-cutting ceremony at new UWP greenhouse

October 7, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-As the culminating event celebrating the 75th anniversary of offering a degree in agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at the new greenhouse on Southwest Road, near the Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.

Construction was completed early this summer on the 6,500 sq. ft. facility that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to house plants for the biology department, the soil and crop science program, the reclamation program and the ornamental horticulture program.

The facility, which differs drastically from the former, 2,800 sq. ft. greenhouse that was located at the site of the new Pioneer Student Center, features a classroom, five greenhouse sections and a head house.

"The classroom is set up to accommodate students or groups of roughly 30 people, and it is wired for Internet connection and will have a projection system," said Michael Compton, School of Agriculture. "The head house or "dirty work" area is used for potting plants (and other related activities) and is more than twice the size of our former head house."

Three of the five greenhouse rooms will be used by ornamental horticulture, with the other two remaining rooms used by the biology department botany classes and the UWP School of Agriculture soil crops and reclamation classes.

Students will work on numerous projects ranging from hydroponics to plant growth research. Some students will also do independent studies at the greenhouse. This semester, two students are researching the feasibility of doing plant sale plugs for wholesale or retail greenhouses. Another student is working on a hydroponics herb growth system for UWP Dining Services.

"There really is no comparison between this greenhouse and the old greenhouse," Compton said. "The computer control system records data every 15 minutes on the temperature, amount of lighting and the humidity levels of the greenhouse. The system then adjusts itself to properly accommodate the plants. And the amount of space enables us to accommodate more students from different majors and other groups."

Two local garden clubs, the Uplands Garden Club and the Grant County Master Gardeners, have already toured the facility. The facility will also be open for tours following the ribbon-cutting ceremony and from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. All are welcome to attend the ceremony and refreshments will be served.

The UW-Platteville Foundation will also kick off its campaign for the horticulture endowment gardens that will encompass the area surrounding the greenhouse.

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