Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, has been working with Duplantis Design Group on plans to renovate a greenhouse on campus and will begin raising money for the project later this week.
Built in 1959 for $21,000 by boiler and greenhouse manufacturer, Lord & Burnham, the Nicholls State University Greenhouse blossomed under the supervision of former president, Dr. Donald Ayo. The greenhouse was used to grow exotic and local plants used for campus beautification, and the two-story building included living quarters upstairs for students tending the plants overnight.
The project includes renovating the building into a classroom and kitchen space, adding hydroponic gardens, replacing the upstairs floor, raising the ceiling and adding raised garden beds outside of the greenhouse.
Out of use since 2014, the facility will provide education and research opportunities for multiple programs across campus, including the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, Bridge to Independence and the biology department.
“Not only do I want to restore the Nicholls Greenhouse to its former glory, but I believe we can use the herbs and vegetables that grow from its gardens as a source of revenue and agricultural education for our students, alumni and the Thibodaux community,” said Dr. Jay Clune, Nicholls president.
To kick off fundraising for the project, net proceeds from Dr. Jay Clune’s Investiture Gala will go toward the Nicholls Greenhouse Renovation Project as well as the Bridge to Independence program