The Hannibal Career & Technical Center (HCTC) is excited to announce an upcoming expansion project for its Agricultural Program, scheduled to commence this summer.
In 2020, HCTC students took on a significant role, constructing the current greenhouse from scratch. Thanks to Enhancement Grant funding, the greenhouse was designed with half the space dedicated to plants and the other half for aquaponics and hydroponics. However, due to the program's growing enrollment and the tremendous support from the community, the current building has become insufficient to meet the needs of expanding agriculture classes. Brent Meyer, Director of HCTC, expressed, "The greenhouse has provided numerous opportunities to our students, but with our enrollment increasing and the overwhelming support from the community, we have quickly outgrown the space and require an entirely new building to fulfill the needs of our current greenhouse classes and other agriculture programs."
We are proud to share that HCTC was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Education, as part of the passage of Missouri House Bill 3002. The Hannibal Board of Education, in its meeting on Monday, May 15, 2023, approved a financial match of the grant funds.
Construction of the new 60’ x 80’ building is scheduled to begin in early June. The building will be located north of the current greenhouse, in front of Hannibal Middle School. When school resumes this fall, the interior of the building will be completed by HCTC students from various programs, including Building Trades, Carpentry, Landscaping, and Agricultural classes. The new building will house the hydroponic systems, saltwater shrimp tank, and a food processing facility, for the processing of various goods; including but not limited to vegetables, leafy greens, shrimp, and fish.
This expansion will provide ample space for enhanced learning opportunities and further foster the growth of the Agriculture program. Over the past six years, there has been a steady increase in enrollment of students eager to delve into the world of agriculture. Brent Meyer also shared his thoughts stating, "Agriculture plays a vital role in Missouri's economy. A key objective of the Ag program is to demonstrate to our students that careers in agriculture are viable post-secondary occupations. We are immensely excited to witness the future prospects that lie ahead for the program and our students."