HU announces groundbreaking ceremony for new plant science production facility

Huntington University has announced it will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ware Plant Science Production Facility. The ceremony will take place on April 20 at 3:45 p.m. at the Dowden Science Building.

“This new facility will provide needed space for students in agriculture courses to work with crop plants and learn about how they grow,” stated Dr. Raymond Porter, Director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies. “Ag students will have hands-on learning and research opportunities in the area of plant and soil sciences, with the potential for aquaponics as well. Faculty and students in biology, chemistry, occupational therapy, and other programs can also benefit from the additional space for instruction and research. And the Horticulture Club or future ag-related clubs could use some of the space for plant propagation and production. We are enthusiastic about the possibilities.”

The 2,000 square-foot facility will sit adjacent to the southeast side of the Dowden Science Building and will feature an aluminum frame with clear insulated glass and a multiwall polycarbonate roof for heat retention abilities, impact resistance and light diffusion. The building is designed to be split into two independent zones, one for student instruction and one for research and production purposes. The latest technology in environmental control will be employed by using an advanced digital horticultural controller system allowing end users to customize settings and maintain environmental conditions per their specific needs.

This past fall, Huntington University received a lead gift from Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Ware of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to initiate fundraising for the new facility. Several other donations were allocated for the new building, but it was an additional gift given by Dr. and Mrs. Ware that completed the project funding. Both gifts were given in honor of Douglas’ late father, Dale Ware, a long-time Huntington County educator and HU alum (Class of 1936).

“This is just one way we can honor my father who significantly influenced my life and challenged me to pursue a career in agriculture. We also wanted to recognize his life-long commitment to education. It’s been a blessing to see first-hand how he had inspired so many students,” said Dr. Douglas Ware. “My father was proud to be an HU alum and we hope this gift will help strengthen the legacy of Huntington University and further solidify the mission of the Haupert Institute.”

The Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies opened in the fall of 2015 and promotes a Christian perspective on agriculture, which recognizes the responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation and to examine questions of sustainability and justice. The institute is intended to help meet the growing need for agriculture professionals and offers eight concentrations in agribusiness as well as an agricultural education degree.