After a nearly three-year-long process of planning, fundraising and building, the long-awaited and highly anticipated revealing of the Dr. Bill McDonald Animal Science Pavilion will be taking place Friday, December 14.
At 4 p.m., the doors to the barn will open, and at 5 p.m., the ribbon cutting ceremony will begin. Inside, after the ribbon cutting, people will be able to meet the pigs and learn about them. A donor wall will be on display to show all of the names of the people who made contributions to the barn with the purpose of recognizing their generosity.
The agricultural department, along with the help of other departments, will be hosting a dinner at PHS for the donors. Fire science teacher Dutch Parks and his class will prepare the pork ribs, which were raised by the agriculture classes. Side dishes will be prepared by cooking teacher Debbie Andry and her students. During the dinner, students will be walking around and answering any questions about projects they are working on or the barn itself.
“What we’re looking for here is to celebrate with all of our partners who helped us get our barn built,” said agriculture teacher Cory Scott.
There was a lot of work that went into making the barn what it is today. After a failed attempt of the project, they began developing plans for the Dr. Bill McDonald Animal Science Pavilion. An open house was held in November of last year, which was followed by fundraising. This led to the groundbreaking in July 2018 and the recent completion of the barn. Because of the barn, the greenhouse can return to being a greenhouse instead of housing livestock. This will allow the agriculture department to expand on their plant operations.
“We’re excited about the new opportunities the new building is going to provide for us and what we will be able to expand and do now that we’ve got the extra space,” said Scott.
Looking forward, Scott hopes to build an innovation area to share with ITE teacher Jason Goodman that will allow the agriculture students to experiment and explore different options for growing plants. Also on the agenda are adding species to their stock and producing food through aquaponics for the school cafeteria.
The barn, which is now complete, had to start somewhere, and that was at the hand of Dr. Bill McDonald. McDonald was the person who originally came up with the idea of Scott and his students obtaining the money themselves instead of relying on grants or other forms of school funding. He was the first donor, and the barn would not be where it is today if it weren’t for him. With this in mind, the barn was dedicated to him and constructed in his honor.
“It means a lot [to have Bill McDonald’s name on the barn]. Dr. McDonald was a good friend of mine, and he was really a big supporter of ours,” said Scott.
This barn is so much more than just a building to the students and Scott. All of the effort and stress turned into something they can be proud of. Naming the barn after such a key player in the process of turning it into a reality only makes it more special.
Story by Masden Embry