SPS AgAcademy Ready for Students in Fall of 2022
Snyder Construction Group is proud to have partnered with Missouri State University and Springfield Public Schools to foster interest in agriculture education for fourth through sixth graders.
As the school system’s newest magnet program, the innovative building offers a fantastic atmosphere for hands-on and academic learning.
Practical Learning in an Agricultural Setting
AgAcademy sits on a sprawling, 125-acre site in southwest Springfield as part of Missouri State University’s campus of the Darr Agricultural Center. Agricultural majors go to the laboratory and field experience classroom to study everything about agriculture and animal science.
Now, with the addition of the AgAcademy, students in upper elementary and middle school have an inclusive opportunity to learn all about agriculture.
Basics of the Project
Missouri State University owns the building, and Springfield Public Schools provides teachers, curriculum, and other educational supplies.
Snyder Construction Group broke ground on the site, located at 2401 S. Kansas Expressway, in November 2020 a year after the gift of $6.5 million from the Darr Family Foundation was announced to construct the facility. At around 16,000 square feet, the circular building houses classrooms, a greenhouse, a garden, and a demonstration kitchen.
The geometric building has a circular shape to take advantage of natural light and maximize access to the outdoors. In a kind of Stonehenge or large sundial, one corridor with a window at the endpoints to where the sun sets on the first day of school. Another one points to where the sun rises on a date for planting crops as recommended by the Farmer’s Almanac, according to KY3 News.
The overall design of the structure is to help students become closer to nature and the natural rhythms of plants and animals.
A greenhouse will allow students to grow crops year-round in a controlled environment. An outdoor garden features a way to plant and grow seasonal crops in spring, summer, and fall.
Making the lessons hit home, a demonstration kitchen gives kids the opportunity to cook the food that they grow. In addition to monitoring crops and finding out what makes them grow most efficiently, the long-term lessons in agriculture will give students an idea of how their food ends up on the dinner table while putting nature on display in a practical setting.
Students Start in Fall 2022
AgAcademy will start in the fall of 2022 with 100 students in grades 4 through 6. When fully launched a year later, 150 students enrolled in Springfield Public Schools will receive an education to nurture and grow their interest in agriculture so they can decide if they want to pursue it as a career.
One reason for this magnet school is that Missouri is an agricultural state. Another stems from the average age of today’s farmer at 59 years old. Younger generations must take an interest in agriculture if this vital economic activity will continue in America.
Snyder Construction Group, Building Partnerships That Last
For more than 40 years, we’ve been a leader within the commercial construction industry in the Midwest. We’re proud to partner with SPS, MSU, and the Springfield community to build a world-class agricultural magnet school in our beautiful city.