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Document: Lincoln University greenhouse contract

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Lincoln University will use some remaining federal agriculture funds to manufacture new greenhouse spaces.

The head of Lincoln's agriculture department told the university's Board of Curators on Thursday via conference call more greenhouse space is needed to accommodate researchers' space needs during the winter months.

Majed El-Dweik, dean of LU's College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences, said LU currently has only two greenhouses, both at the George Washington Carver Research Farm on Bald Hill Road.

With the number of research faculty wanting to use greenhouse space to have a controlled environment in winter, it's become difficult to accommodate everyone into the schedule, El-Dweik said.

He said it was decided last year greenhouses should be added to Carver Farm, as well as to Alan T. Busby Farm on Goller Road.

Busby Farm is a certified organic research farm, and at 278 acres in size, El-Dweik said it's the largest such farm in about a seven-state area.

LU's Board of Curators approved a $752,100 contract with Stuppy Inc. to manufacture the new greenhouses: at Busby, three 30-by-54-foot greenhouses with one 24-by-54-foot work greenhouse; and at Carver, two 30-by-66-foot greenhouses with one 24-by-66-foot work greenhouse.

The money for the contract is funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

El-Dweik said the funding to be used to complete the greenhouse expansion project needs to be spent by Dec. 30: "We did not want to lose the opportunity, and we want to use the funding we already have in our hand so we can put those facilities on site."

The total budget for the project — including site prep and construction — requested of the U.S. Department of Agriculture was $1.1 million, he said.

Jeff Turner, director of LU's Office of Facilities and Planning, said while there were not yet estimates for site prep costs, "we will come in under budget."

Turner said the architect and consultant selection process will be completed in two weeks.

The bidding process will be completed by the end of September, a general contractor will be chosen the first week of October, and site prep and construction will be completed the second week of December, he said.

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