Ag Center Groundbreaking

On Monday, May 8, 2023 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Agriculture Center at Bartlesville High School. Agriculture students, teachers, and supporters joined school board members, district administrators, and construction and architectural personnel to celebrate the construction of the new facility southeast of the high school campus near 18th Street and Shawnee/Jim Bohnsack Avenue. 

Supt. Chuck McCauley thanked the voters who approved funding in 2021 to provide classrooms, a show arena, and small barns to complement the existing classrooms and agriculture shop south of the high school's Fine Arts Center. He also thanked the Lyon Foundation, which has approved a $500,000 grant to fund agriscience and production  greenhouses at the new facility.

Other speakers included Adam Stogner of Manhattan Construction and FFA President Maritza Robledo and FFA Past President Adysen Grindle. Grindle shared how she entered the district's new agriculture program in 2019 and noted the opportunities, travel, and scholarships it provided for her and other students. Agriculture instructors Marty Jones and Cameron Dale celebrated how the award-winning program has grown from one instructor and 60 students in 2019 to 200 students in 2022. The program will have three instructors in 2023-2024 and has already grown to become one of the largest programs in the state.

Groundbreaking Speakers

The cover photo for this post shows, from left to right, School Board Member Randy Herren, Board Member Kinder Shamhart, Board Member Suzy Keirsey, Board Vice-President Rick Boswell, Supt. Chuck McCauley, Agriculture Instructor Marty Jones, Agriculture Instructor Cameron Dale, Board Member Jason Sauer, FFA President Maritza Robledo, and FFA Past President Adysen Grindle.

Another photo was taken of the agriculture students who attended the ceremony.

Agriculture students

A final photo shows Supt. McCauley with representatives of Manhattan Construction, Keleher Architects, and Sodexo Plant Services.

BPSD, Manhattan, Keleher, and Sodexo Reps

The groundbreaking was held near the former Pathfinder Parkway entrance off Shawnee Avenue south of the high school. The Parkway entrance will remain closed during construction, but upon completion there will be a parking area serving both the Pathfinder Parkway and the Agriculture Center. Site preparations began weeks earlier with floodplain dirt from a nearby borrow pit used to build up an 8-foot-high platform for the new buildings to lift them out of the 100-year floodplain without adding dirt to the floodway.

Agriculture Center plans

If all goes according to plan, the center will be completed by April 2024 and the district expects students to have full use of it in the 2024-2025 academic year.