Greenhouse used by agriculture students destroyed by fire

Agriculture students at Calloway County High School are losing hands-on experience after a fire burned down the campus greenhouse. It’s been a staple of the program for almost 40 years.

Calloway County Fire-Rescue responded to the fire around 11 p.m. on Saturday. No one was hurt. After watching surveillance video, Calloway County Fire-Rescue Chief Tommy Morgan says there’s no evidence that the fire was intentional. At this point, he thinks it was an electrical fire.

Students have put 1,200 hours into it this semester.

"It was really heartbreaking, because you immediately think of all the work we put into it," said student Shelby Bellah.

Since January, students in the greenhouse class have worked hours each day growing plants and vegetables for the class’s annual sale.

"It was a lot of trial and error, but it was really rewarding to see whenever the plants did come up," said student Maddie Balmer.

The greenhouse has been used to give students in different programs hands-on lessons for decades.

"That building has been here 40 years. A lot of memories in there," said student Jonah Brannon.

Not only is the school losing memories and hours of work, but it also made $10,000 off the greenhouse each year.

Money from the plant sale supports agriculture classes and helps pay for trips for the Future Farmers of America program.

"I’m already thinking about people like my little brother, who are going to be affected next year and the year after," Bellah said. 
Agriculture teacher Jacob Falwell says not all is lost. 

"You can’t always predict what’s going to happen in the future. You always have to monitor and adjust,"  Falwell said.

He says it could be used as another life lesson for the students.

Falwell says Murray State University has offered students space, and they’re getting donations from different people in the community. They are planning to to have the spring plant sale using the donations.

The spring plant sale will be held May 7.

The school is planning to rebuild the greenhouse. Falwell says no plans have been made yer on how to fund it.

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