Strathmore High School students have begun construction of the community green house on campus. With the help of local businesses, the foundation has been laid, and students are currently working to construct the climate battery which will operate below the main structure.Photo Courtesy of Cole Hintz

Original Published 23:58 May 26, 2022

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Students and staff at Strathmore High School (SHS) are excited to finally be laying the foundation for the on-campus community greenhouse.

Cole Hintz, who is helping to oversee the project and aid students involved, said construction is progressing well with the help of local businesses and the dedication of his students.

“We’ve finished our climate battery and our foundation wall. The foundation wall was done with the help of community businesses,” explained Hintz. “Our students got to work over this past week, they were building the climate battery. This is one of the larger projects on the energy efficiency side.”

The climate battery built into the greenhouse uses the ground to transfer heat out of the air to store as energy for later use and is only one of several systems going into the project which will manage heat and energy.

Hintz explained the solar air heater that will be installed, which pulls air out of the greenhouse, uses a solar panel to heat the air then pushes it back into the facility.

The building will also have solar panels installed for supplying power, as well as an attached pond to act as a heat sync for the greenhouse.

Hintz said students have been greatly involved in the construction of the battery, doing much of the cutting and fitting of the necessary parts, and preparing for the rest of the above-ground structure.

The foundation of the building was laid at the end of April and the battery has been under construction as the rest of the building is shipped to the school.

Hintz said he enjoyed observing many of the students involved feel very at home while working on the greenhouse.

“It was exciting to see some of the students in their element. We have a lot of really talented students at SHS who have a lot of experience with projects like this,” said Hintz. “Giving them the opportunity to work on something like that, it was really great to see a lot of students shine in that type of situation.”

Largely, the students involved in construction have been from the school’s Sustainable Solutions club, with some help from a handful of Grade 11 students as part of their science classes.

“Our plan for this space is that it will be a community space. We want to put as much growing space in there as possible so that we can include as many groups as possible within that space,” said Hintz. “(The) plan for this summer is to have the perimeter beds installed, but we are likely going to save some of the space in the very center or around the growing dome as construction projects for our students come the fall.”

Currently, the plan is to construct the greenhouse proper between June 20 to 22 with the help of community volunteers.

This item reprinted with permission from Strathmore Times, Strathmore, Alberta