Hart Career Center and Mexico High School students in the agriculture program will have access to better facilities for plant science courses after the Mexico Board of Education approved the purchase of a new greenhouse.

The center received a Vocational-Technical Education Enhancement Grant of $62,078.56. The board approved $42,300.69 to cover the remaining costs of the $104,379.25 greenhouse from Hummert International. This amount was already planned as part of the district's 2019-20 budget.

"We are currently working with [Hummert] to finalize paperwork so the project can begin," Agriculture Instructor Kendra Allen wrote in an email. "Our goal is to be using the greenhouse the first part of January 2020. Since this is an outside project, the weather will play a part in how quickly it can be built."

Upper level plant science students will be using the greenhouse, where they will be using current technology and growing practices, Allen wrote. Students will be able to work for longer in the greenhouse since it will be a better facility for projects. The greenhouse will be larger than the previous facility, which will allow for larger class sizes.

"The additional space will allow for more agriscience projects to take place for any agriculture student who wishes to complete plant science research," Allen wrote. "Each year, students raise spring bedding plants to learn competencies related to growing, fertilizing and marketing plants."

Upper level students grow various plants in the greenhouse as part of a lab, while Agriculture Science 1 students complete a service project each spring with The Help Center to learn planting, germination and basic plant care of tomatoes for Help Center distribution days.