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Greenhouse finally enjoying its time in the sun

It’s been a long time coming, but the Copper Country Intermediate School District is ready to debut the new location of its commercial greenhouse. An open house is scheduled for Saturday morning from 10:00 to noon. Coordinator Karyn Juntunen says the structure was originally located behind Copper Country Mental Health, but in 2017 plans were made to take down the greenhouse to make room for a new garage.

Juntunen was quick to jump at the chance to relocate the building and in 2018 a concrete foundation was poured, but at the end of the year due to the Father’s Day Flood. Juntunen says that 2019 was spent rebuilding the greenhouse piece by piece and spring of last year was going to be its public debut. COVID caused another delay and so the journey is finally complete this Saturday.

Juntunen says they replaced the greenhouse’s polycarbonate paneling, but the rest of the building is solid and will be the foundation of the program for years to come.

It will just turn like a coffee stain yellow, is what we replaced. It was brittle.

The greenhouse is utilized by all CCISD students with cognitive disabilities, roughly 90 from Houghton, Baraga, and Keweenaw Counties in all. Staff have access as well, and outside of Saturday morning, the public gets to see the fruits of the students’ labor when they sell their plants out of a hoop house near Auto Value on Sharon Avenue in Houghton. The money acts as a fundraiser to help continue the program. Juntunen says they’ve added some new items for this spring.

We have five types of tomatoes, and for the grand opening we’ve introduced a black cherry tomato, which is delicious.

Musical entertainment will be playing during the event. The greenhouse is located adjacent to the CCISD Learning Center in Hancock at 809 Hecla Street.

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