Canton to demolish greenhouse

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY/WATERTOWN DAILY TIMESCanton Central School officials have decided to remove the greenhouse next to the high school entrance.

CANTON — After being a prominent fixture in front of Canton’s Hugh C. Williams High School since the 1980s, the greenhouse is expected to be torn down before students and staff return in September to start a new school year.

School Superintendent Ronald Burke is recommending that the Plexiglas greenhouse be removed because it’s in poor condition and the cost of repairing or replacing it is prohibitive at this time.

“The time has come, unfortunately, for the greenhouse to come out,” he said.

Mr. Burke said two cost estimates were received for the removal work. Frank J. Danko Construction Corp., Massena, provided a $5,140 estimate while T.J. Fiacco Construction, Norwood, submitted a $12,700 estimate.

The greenhouse is attached to the exterior of the high school in a visible spot near the building’s entrance and the greenhouse’s brick veneer is crumbling.

“The cinderblock wall has pulled away from the exterior wall of the school building and the shifting in the structure prevents the door from closing,” Mr. Burke said. “It’s a space we are not comfortable allowing students or staff to use.”

He said it’s also difficult to regulate temperature inside the greenhouse.

Mr. Burke said he was a student at Canton High School when the greenhouse was added as part of the district’s agricultural program. In the past, the greenhouse also housed fish tanks. The fish farm project was eliminated several years ago during budget cuts.

Another problem is the distance between the greenhouse and the agriculture classroom, where teacher Carol Wright teaches a variety of ag-related classes.

During the past few years, the greenhouse has been used for some plants and as a storage space for benches and other items.

“It’s become sort of a catch-all,” Mr. Burke said.

Although there are no plans to replace the greenhouse, it could be included in a future capital project, he said.

District officials are working with King & King Architects, Syracuse, to determine the district’s facility needs.

“The facilities committee, with input from stakeholder groups, will determine what must be undertaken in order to support the instructional mission of the school,” Mr. Burke said.

Plans include “closely examining” space allocated for career and technical classes, including the district’s popular agricultural program.

“It is our intention to have a capital project referendum in the late fall to address areas of need on our campus.” Mr. Burke said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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