DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Public Schools hopes to break ground on a new project to expand its agronomy program in August.
Earlier in 2018 the school board approved a $1.6 million budget, and later increased the budget to $2 million to construct three new buildings.
The buildings will be located next to the McCombs Middle School off of County Line Road in Des Moines.
DMPS Chief Operations Officer Bill Good said there will be an addition of 6,800 square feet for Ag-Science classrooms and it will be attached to the current aviation building.
The classrooms will be for Animal Science and Horticulture classes. In addition, there will also be bio-tech labs for dissection and food science.
“We are excited about what are doing here for students. We are also keeping an eye on the future. We did a master plan for this programming here. There will be a need for additional barns and pastureland as they potentially look to forward their programming,” Good said.
In addition, the current greenhouse on the property will receive a 2,000 square foot add-on and an aquaponics lab will be built. The lab will have tanks for fish and plants to grow.
“It’s about students being able to find a curriculum or a future that they want to be in. Whether it is marine biology or ag-sciences, this can create an interest for a student that can move on to Iowa State University or another institution. So that can continue that experience,” Good said.
The programs are a part of the districts Central Campus.
Good said the construction will not affect classes for the 2018-2019 school year. Good said the district hopes to be done with construction in early 2019.