Buckingham school officials ask for money to refurbish greenhouse

Published 12:02 am Friday, March 15, 2024

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The greenhouse at Buckingham County’s Career and Technical Center will be getting a much-needed facelift soon, thanks to some state dollars. It had been one of the biggest project on the school district’s radar, now that roofs have been repaired at each school. And originally, it had been slanted for repair last fall. There was just one problem. 

“In October, we sent out RFPs (request for proposals) for the project and there were two bids received,” said Buckingham Superintendent Dr. John Keeler. “Unfortunately, they were close to 40% higher than the budgeted amount.” 

And yes, the greenhouse as it currently stands has seen better days. Built in the 1980s, very little work has been done to the structure since that time. The most work done includes a new skin, added to the structure in the 1990s. And so it’s remained a big ticket item for the school district. Buckingham Schools Facilities Director JB Heslip has since then worked with the low bidding developer, trying to come up with options to reduce the project’s cost. 

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“Some of his plan involves keeping existing interior doors, as well as the ramp,” Keeler explained. “(Also) refurbishing and reusing the current gutter system.” 

The district also recruited the CTE facility’s carpentry class, which rebuilt an existing tabletop and some of the growing structures. 

“With these changes, we were able to lower the project to $485,525,” Keeler explained. 

And so they came to supervisors on Monday, asking for a part of their funding the county has managed. Last year, Buckingham schools received $1.4 million in grant funding. They asked for a portion of that, $465,000 from the grant funding and then $37,500 from a CTE construction project. That’ll take care of both the cost of construction and it leaves the school district with a little extra money, just in case. 

Buckingham supervisors take a vote

By a unanimous vote, supervisors agreed to turn the money over, so work can be built. Keeler said with the final version should be in place long before students return to the school this fall.