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US (CO): CSU Plant Growth Facilities complete over $1.4 million in renovations

Plant Growth Facilities have completed significant renovations, totaling more than $1.4 million, to better help students and researchers study and cultivate plants at Colorado State University.

Made up of a series of greenhouses, growth chambers, and lab space on CSU’s main campus, the facility supports $39 million in research, with 350 users across five colleges.

An updated classroom also supports students with the opportunity to study horticulture while helping to grow a variety of plant species. The greenhouses also have space for registered hemp growth and research, available for researchers both in and outside of CSU.

Funded in part by Plant Growth Facilities with contributions from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Facilities Management, the College of Agricultural Science Agriculture Experiment Station, and several grants, improvements were made to multiple areas of the facility, first constructed in the early 1960s. The renovations include a new roof, LED lighting, a remodeled classroom and a fresh coat of paint, among other enhancements.

Video by Ty Betts

Healthy plants, happy researchers
Tammy Brenner, who has been working to improve Plant Growth Facilities since she became the manager in 2016, said that having a well-functioning growth facility is vital for research that often involves plants requiring specific growing environments.

“If the greenhouse controls go down, there goes all climate and research abilities right there,” Brenner said. “A greenhouse can skyrocket to 110 degrees really, really quickly if the climate control isn’t working.”

Plant Growth Facilities back in 1963

Brenner added that she is excited to show off the many improvements made to the facility, noting that they hosted an open house last month so visitors could see the renovations.

While Brenner is continuously looking for ways to enhance the facility, the work she and her team have completed will allow researchers to continue to pursue high-quality research.

“Taking an old facility and creating one of the best [research and development] greenhouse facilities among all of the land grant universities can be a challenge,” Brenner said. “Without a high-quality facility … the researchers just can’t produce the high-quality research that they’re striving for.”

Source: Colorado State University (Ty Betts)

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