It's almost a month into the school year, and the Herscher School District community is wondering when the high school's greenhouse will be ready.
The district hoped to have the new 1,225-square-foot detached greenhouse ready in time for school to start. However, the project remains in its architectural planning stages.
Volunteers initially planned on constructing the greenhouse. A handful attended Monday's board meeting, expressing the concerns. The high school's FFA club raised $50,000 in donations, and the district pledged another $50,000 for the project.
"This is a slap in the face for everyone," said Dana Masching, a parent, volunteer and FFA alumnus. "These people donated specifically for this project. I guess we'll wait and see."
Dave Emling, president of the school board, said a volunteer architect has held up the project. Now, the district will pay between $3,000 and $4,000 for an architect so it can acquire a building permit, bid out concrete work and set up the greenhouse.
"We're trying to do this on the cheap," Superintendent Rich Decman said. "When you're trying to do it on the cheap, you are at the mercy of those folks. You can only push so far. If someone's going to do it for free, are you going to hound them? Part of this is being courteous to folks as well."
School officials hope to have the greenhouse built by November. When completed, it will feature a 500-gallon fish tank, hydroponics system and built-in drainage system.