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Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
With the completion of the Agriscience Building, a 2013 bond project, more students like Sterling’s Zakary Medina will have a home for their animals. Zakary will soon be showing his steer, Big Red, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman.
New Agriscience Center Brings Successful 2013 Bond Closer To An End
By Beth Dombrowa
At 6,800 square feet and consisting of just 36 small animal and five large animal pens, the previous Agriscience Facility was not adequate to support current growth and expansion.
“Students in our facility have long expressed interest in the wide variety of careers available in the agriscience field,” said GCCISD Career and Technical Education Director Renea Dillon. “The new center will provide more space for students to house their animals, as well as a large practice arena and classroom space. The site also will allow for future expansion, which is great because all indications point to a growing agriscience program in our district.”
The new Agriscience Center is located at Wallisville and John Martin Road, the same site as the older facility. Rather than constructing the facility in another location, the district is making use of the existing barn by converting it into classrooms and support space.
“That’s a big plus for taxpayers because we didn’t have to acquire any additional land, and we were able to take advantage of the old structure by incorporating it into the design of the new facility,” said Dillon.
The site will house four new structures, including a 4,442-square-foot hog barn with 48 pens, a 2,391 square foot sheep and goat barn with 32 pens, a 3,662-square foot cattle barn with 12 pens, and a 10,227 square foot practice arena structure with bleachers, locker rooms, storage rooms and support spaces. Each of the new barns include larger wash and grooming areas and feed and tack storage rooms, and the cattle barn includes turn out space for the large animals.
The site is designed to accommodate future expansion of an additional 16 hog pens, 16 sheep/goat pens and 12 cattle pens without having to add site utilities or additional storm drainage. Other improvements to the site include an enhanced main entrance that will allow trailers and buses to enter the site completely without having to block a portion of John Martin Road; improved circulation and parking for trucks and trailers; expanded visitor parking; and a fenced animal exercise area. All of the new construction is contained on the north half of the site, leaving approximately eight acres of undeveloped land for future expansion and grazing.
Agriculture Science is a pathway under the Business and Industry Endorsement. Students who select this pathway take hands-on courses in one of four programs of study: plant science and floral design; animal science; food technology and processing; equipment design; and fabrication and mechanics.
“Agricultural Science gives students the ability to increase their education of modern agriculture through classroom and lab experiences,” said Kenny Rogers, GCCISD Lead Agriculture teacher. “Combined with the FFA, this extends their knowledge through leadership and career development events, as well as livestock exhibition throughout the state and the nation. We feel that this program produces students with the potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through Agricultural Education.”
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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