Surry Community College is expanding its Agricultural programming with the addition of a 4,900-square-foot facility located adjacent to the college’s five-acre vineyard in Dobson. The total acreage of this part of campus is about 62 acres, which was strategically purchased by the Surry Community College Foundation and then gifted to the college.
A master plan for the property was designed by Nelson, Byrd, Woltz Landscape Architects, based in Charlottesville, Va. The project was of particular interest to Thomas Woltz, a native of Surry County, who led the design process.
The new Sustainable Agriculture Building features a covered porch, a 1,400-square-foot hydroponics lab with three hydroponic systems and grow lights, a 576-square-foot classroom, two offices, and restrooms. Shop space will be used for equipment storage and maintenance for the vineyard and additional agricultural equipment.
The building is designed to be easily expandable to serve more students with additional space as educational offerings grow. The $985,000 construction project was completed using Connect NC Bond funds along with a special allocation from the North Carolina General Assembly dedicated to the college’s Viticulture and Enology program.
“The construction of the Sustainable Agriculture Building shows the college’s continuing investment in educating agricultural professionals for our region,” said Dr. David Shockley, SCC President. “We offer three excellent programs in Agricultural Science – Viticulture and Enology, Animal Science and Sustainable Agriculture. Students can earn a degree, diploma and four certificates in Viticulture and Enology including Wine Marketing, and a Tasting Room Operations certificate, the latter which began in Fall 2020. We recently expanded our Animal Science program to offer a diploma and a certificate. The Horticulture certificate was revamped to become a Sustainable Agriculture certificate, better suited for students who want to learn how to grow and maintain large food crops and learn alternative farming methods with a focus on hydroponics. Our students will be growing industrial hemp, niche crops, and a variety of fruits and vegetables along with our established vineyard.”
College officials have many plans for this already expanding educational area including a high tunnel greenhouse, an outdoor event venue, a wine tasting room training area, a heritage apple orchard, an equipment storage shelter, and an agro chemical handling facility.
Beginning Spring 2021, all the college’s vineyard-based classes, which are taught by Viticulture Instructor Sarah Bowman, will make their home in the new Sustainable Agriculture Building along with students in the agricultural classes.
The public passing by the Dobson campus cannot readily see the new building because it’s nestled on the opposite side of South Main Street, a mile or so from the main campus area. In the future, an entryway to the agricultural sciences area of the campus will be constructed, so the Sustainable Agriculture Building and college vineyard will be easily accessible.
SCC is currently registering students for spring classes. If you need assistance with college application, financial aid or with class registration, contact Student Services at (336) 386-3264 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The fall class registration deadline is Dec. 23, and classes start Jan. 6.
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