Polytech’s $1.2m glasshouse almost ready

Otago Polytechnic Central Campus manager Kelly Gay is looking forward to the completion of the glasshouse on its Bannockburn campus. Photo: Yvonne O'Hara
Otago Polytechnic Central Campus manager Kelly Gay is looking forward to the completion of the glasshouse on its Bannockburn campus. Photo: Yvonne O'Hara
Otago Polytechnic Central Campus takes ownership of its new 630sqm glasshouse next Wednesday.

Campus manager Kelly Gay said the glasshouse on its Bannockburn campus was built by Logic Group New Zealand and stood next to the new craft beer brewery.

It has irrigation and teaching facilities, as well as a potting shed, shading, misting and plant finishing and hardening areas for propagation, and would include a hydroponic system.

It also has special curtains to reduce the amount of UV light when necessary.

Mr Gay said the new glasshouse and accompanying facilities cost $1.2 million.

‘‘It replaces the glasshouse at our Erris St campus [in Cromwell], which was coming to the end of its useful life,’’ Mr Gay said.

The polytechnic was building additional student accommodation at the former site.

While there will be no formal ceremony, the glasshouse will be handed over to the polytechnic on Wednesday and the horticulture faculty will then move its equipment, plants, internal fixtures, tools, and equipment etc to the new site to be ready in time for this year’s influx of horticultural students.

A separate area has been allocated for the polytechnic’s annual plant sale.

‘‘I was on the till for our last one and we had people come from all over the country.’’

He said once the glasshouse was finished, they would carry out landscaping and fencing.

In addition, contractors would soon begin building a new entryway and car park at the site.

The new glasshouse was the ‘‘linchpin’’ of the polytechnic’s horticultural faculty.

In addition to the glasshouse and teaching facilities, the Bannockburn campus also had a commercial vineyard, an orchard for its viticulture and fruit production programmes and a golf course for its sports turf programme.

The neighbouring craft beer brewery, which was built about 12 months ago, was to be extended to keep up with demand for places on its brewing course.

‘‘It will include a retail room and tasting room,’’ Mr Gay said.

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

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