Joel Vaillancourt

    Green light for campus greenhouse renovation

    by , September, 2017
    Formerly the site of a biological pest research facility, the greenhouse will be renovated and expanded to include classrooms and space for plant cultivation. Governor Mark Dayton signed off on the legislative appropriation for the GROW-IT Center on May 30, 2017.

    A vacant green­house next to the Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter on the St. Paul cam­pus will gain new life thanks to a $400,000 appro­pri­a­tion from the Min­nesota State Leg­is­la­ture. By 2019, the build­ing will become the GROW-​IT Cen­ter, an inclu­sive research cen­ter for stu­dents, fac­ulty and the community.

    GROW-​IT is an acronym for Gate­way for Research, Out­reach, Work­force Devel­op­ment, Inno­va­tion and Teaching

    The green­house will be ren­o­vated exten­sively. Three research bays will be con­verted into one large grow­ing space. An addi­tional restroom will be built and an office will be moved. A front room will host work­shops and classes

    Pro­fes­sor Mark Asplen of the Nat­ural Sci­ences Depart­ment has over­seen the sci­en­tific side of the project. The plan­ning team believes that the GROW-​IT Cen­ter will be a boon to stu­dents study­ing a vari­ety of sub­jects, from chem­istry to nurs­ing to psy­chol­ogy. “You’re going to have sci­en­tists work­ing right next to psy­chol­o­gists and peo­ple in other pro­grams,” said Asplen. “Being close together can build collaboration.

    The build­ing has a long his­tory as a space for sci­en­tific research. Com­mis­sioned and built by the Min­nesota Bio­log­i­cal Pest Con­trol Research Pro­gram in 1998, it was used to study the impact of inva­sive insects

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