Local school districts add great new facilities

IT WAS KERMIT THE Frog who famously sang “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” But for students in the Plymouth and Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah school districts, it’s easier than ever being green.

Both districts added facilities this school year that will greatly enhance their offerings in agriculture and many related fields.

Plymouth opened its $1 million Food Science and Agriculture Center this fall while Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah added a $235,000 greenhouse to the high school.

Both state-of-the-art facilities give new meaning to the phrase “going green” at both schools and will have an impact well beyond the schools and the students who attend them.

The FSAC and the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School greenhouse will provide effective teaching tools and atmosphere for students in agriculture, food science and many other areas.

They will educate students for needed jobs in a number of industries that have long been the backbone of the local and county economies. With the assurance of a well-trained and ready workforce coming from local schools, ready to step into jobs at those industries, the continued strength and growth of those local industries can be assured. And that’s good for all of us.

Beyond that, the facilities will be available for use by all in their local communities, making both schools an even larger and more integral part of their communities.

It took a lot of green to build both facilities, but that was accomplished without putting an additional strain on the local school budgets and local property taxpayers.

That’s because both the FSAC and the Elkhart

Lake-Glenbeulah greenhouse are further positive examples of partnerships between the public and private sectors for the benefit of both.

In Plymouth, the Plymouth Education Foundation stepped up to lead the fund-raising effort for the FSAC and the community stepped up to generously support the effort to the level necessary.

In Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, it was Steve Schmitt of Jos. Schmitt and Sons Construction who stepped up to help design the greenhouse and partner with the school district on the fund-raising effort to finance the greenhouse.

In both cases, local citizens, businesses and industries recognized the many benefits of the projects and did what was necessary to make them a reality.

The end result is that the two local school districts, Plymouth and Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, can now boast of facilities that would make many other school districts green with envy.

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