With the relocation of the greenhouses at the W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center this summer, Colorado State University will construct a state-of-the-art center for horticulture education and research adjacent to a popular community garden and federal research center. The new center will expand opportunities for joint research and programming while improving the learning environment for CSU students.
The $7.5 million horticulture center and greenhouses will be constructed at the corner of Bay Drive and Centre Avenue, directly south of the Aggie Village Apartments and near the popular Gardens on Spring Creek, a community botanic garden operated by the City of Fort Collins, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sugar Beet Research Unit. The facility will replace the existing PERC facility, which was constructed in 1949 on the site where CSU will build an on-campus stadium.
New, state-of-the art center
“The new horticulture facility and greenhouses will better reflect the quality of our academic program and the critical role it plays in supporting the state’s green industry,” said Craig Beyrouty, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Our students and faculty will benefit from a space that can more fully meet the needs of this program, and our community will benefit from the strengthened connections between this vital facility and the surrounding gardens and research programs. In essence, we’re creating a horticulture research park in the center of Fort Collins. We’re truly excited about the opportunities that will be created by this move and the greatly improved facilities.”
With modern controlled-environment agricultural facilities, the new center and greenhouses will enhance CSU’s capacity to deliver programs that contribute to the beauty, sustainability, health and well-being of the local community, the state of Colorado and the intermountain West. In addition to supporting the nearby Gardens on Spring Creek, the world-renowned Annual Flower Trial Garden at Lake and Remington streets, and the green industries across Colorado, the center will strengthen the research, teaching and educational programs within the College of Agricultural Sciences and all of Colorado State University.
Expanding research, academic programs
Along with opening opportunities for new research and academic programs, the new facility also will house some of the greenhouse research currently in place at PERC as well as future growing seasons for the Trial Garden and horticulture and floriculture programs, including the popular Floriculture Practicum in which students to grow and sell poinsettias for the holiday season and bedding plants for spring.
As construction is completed, academic and research programs will transition to the new facility in time for an anticipated opening in summer of 2015. The current PERC will be decommissioned once existing graduate student research projects are completed, by Oct. 1, 2015. The areas to the west of the current PERC greenhouses, including the arboretum and perennial garden, will remain in place and will be upgraded with additional displays.
For more information on this project or to learn about opportunities to contribute to the facility’s construction, please contact Joe Leisz, associate director of development, Joe.Leisz@colostate.edu, (970) 491-1758.