Groundbreaking held for new horticultural center

horticultural center ground break

Mayor Rick Sollars spoke during a September 21, 2018, ground-breaking for Wayne County Community College’s new Horticultural Education Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will offer programming in partnership with Michigan State University’s Institution of Agricultural Technology. 

A gathering of officials, friends and other interested parties filled the Ray Mix Room in the main building of WCCCD-Downriver Campus on Northline Road. The horticultural center, an investment that signals a commitment to the study of agriscience technology and specialized programming in landscape and fruit and crop management, is a projected $15 million investment. 

It is also another feather in the hat of WCCCD’s Taylor campus, through which partnerships with the City of Taylor and other organizations has created somewhat of a “Cultural Corridor” along Northline. The horticultural center will fit nicely into a tremendously improved Downriver campus, Heritage Park, Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Petting Farm and Coan Lake. 

The campus, and the center, will also become a key point in the new Fletcher Discovery Trail, a network of non-motorized pathways and sharrows connecting Midtown Taylor to Heritage Park and the campus all the way to Eureka Road. 

Mayor Sollars spoke briefly to the crowd, emphasizing the tremendous efforts of WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery and Downriver Campus President Anthony Arminiak, along with the existing partnerships between the college and the City, both of which are celebrating 50 years in existence this year. 

The center will be LEED-certified. WCCCD is dedicated to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility, using rainwater harvesting systems, mechanically ventilated operable roofs, computer-controlled greenhouse systems and a passive ventilation system. A STEM lab will be available for extensive research, and students will have access to specialized greenhouse technologies and spaces for hands-on experiences with aquaponics, irrigation, landscape restoration and urban agriculture.