Our Town O'Neill: Greenhouse

O'NEILL, Neb. -- Around Holt County, O'Neill is known as a place where a helpful hand is never far away. Tonight, I present to you, a great example of community support & involvement.

A shiny new polycarbonate learning facility that O'Neill Eagles everywhere can be proud of.

Corey Fisher is the principal at O'Neill High School.

"Seven years ago, the education greenhouse was just a dream, a vision. Many, including many of you here today believed this vision could become a reality and ultimately one that was achieved by the dedication hard work and determination of so many of you," Fisher said.

O'Neill Superintendent Amy Shane says it took a lot of fundraising to accumulate the necessary capital to built this greenhouse on the north side of the high school.

"Once the site was secured, we appealed to our local community groups and businesses to assist with the cost of actually erecting the greenhouse and, I'll tell you what, our community once again did not fail us, they came through in spades," Shane said.

It took all of these generous people to bring this $85,000 project to completion.

"On the count of three, Tayte, you can cut the ribbon," Laurie Havranek said at the opening ceremony. "Everybody ready out there? 1. 2. 3...yeah!"

Katie Wheeler and the Kopecky triplets are excited about the thought of one day getting to work in this greenhouse.

"I'm very excited for kids to learn how to grow plants and how to learn how to be independent," Wheeler said.

FFA Advisor Amanda Horn made it official with the new chamber sticker on the door.

"In the future, we hope to establish an outdoor classroom, fully connecting learning and doing," Horn said. "We have plans to built a set of raised beds where our students can operate a school based enterprise and production and management and marketing of produce."

"It's really exciting, I mean we've been waiting for this for like a long time," Makenna Welke said.

Current FFA officers Makenna Welke and Tayte Jussel are looking forward to getting their hands dirty in this new greenhouse.

"I look forward to learning more about plants and really getting hands on cause I know I'm really good at learning with hands-on things so it's going to be really interesting to see like what we can also produce out of the greenhouse too," Welke said.

"Everybody in the past years have been like oh yeah, we'll get a greenhouse next year, but it's never happened," Jussel added, "but now it's finally here and it's going to be great, amazing cause 75 members and myself will be able to experience this greenhouse and do research in it, learn about how plants actually grow, hands on instead of textbook."

FFA members are hoping to offer some their produce in the school lunchroom and then also share the fruits of their labor with community members as well.