After nearly two decades of work and the efforts of three teachers, Dawson County High School has a new greenhouse facility.
"I've worked on getting something like this here for more than 15 years," said Reggie Stowers, retired agriculture teacher. "This is a great facility."
Stowers had been pitching the idea of a new facility to the board of education for some time, but it wasn't until after his retirement and the hiring of his successor, Eric Hickox, that the break-through came.
"Reggie had been trying for several years," said Hickox, who left the school last year. "When I came in, I decided to make the pitch and it worked out."
In February, the school board voted to approve spending $246,000 in sales tax money on the project.
It called for the construction of two 72-foot-by-30-foot polycarbonate-sided greenhouses, a 30-foot-by-24-foot metal-sided head house and a 20-foot-by-60-foot shade house.
The facilities will be used by the school's agriculture class, which grows various plants for public sale later in the school year.
While Hickox was only with the school for a year, that was long enough to see the project put into motion.
But it was his replacement, Josh Daniel, a recent University of Georgia graduate, who will oversee the facility's use.
"These greenhouses and storage areas are fully equipped for everything," Daniel said. "The head house, which is where the students will work out of, even has heating and air."
Due to the span and scope of the project, Daniel said he was initially uneasy about overseeing it.
"I was a little nervous about having these new facilities to manage, at first, because these are so nice," he said. "But I'm excited about these facilities, because I really think the kids will benefit from them."
Stowers, who visited the school Monday, was impressed with what had replaced the old, frequently-patched plastic facility.
"These facilities are top notch," he said. "They are fully irrigated and environmentally sealed. These greenhouses are exactly what the school needs."
Daniel said that a public ceremony and official opening for the greenhouse facility is planned for the end of the month, but the details are still being finalized.