Texas FFA News  
James Madison AMP Unveils New Facility    
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Author: Tyler Wieghat

After 15 months of designing and 22 months of construction, the new James Madison Agri-Science Magnet Program facility held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new $27 million agri-science building.  

The ag-science instructors of James Madison High School were told to dream big when the idea of a new facility was proposed to them.  Dream big they did.  The new facility is a sprawling 60,000 square feet instructional building with 65,000 square feet of livestock project centers.  Covering 22 acres on the James Madison High School campus, the new facilities will serve approximately 600 students in ag-science courses and 350 FFA members.  The instructional building features: 

Aquaculture ponds and pier
In-vessel composting station
General store
Environmental wet lab 
Small and large animal vet clinics
Mechanized ag shop
Meat science lab
Floriculture art lab
Freshman (101) boot camp complex
Climate controlled arena complex
1500 seat amphitheater

In addition to all of the features of the new facilities, the buildings took several green energy considerations into the developing and maintaining of the facility.  A projected LEED Gold facility, the buildings incorporate green technologies to help minimize its environmental impact and teach the importance of sustainability in agriculture.  

Heated floors in the project animal buildings that run through an outdoor solar heating system to minimize central heating costs
Natural drainage parking lots that allow more rainwater to flow back into the ground instead of the drainage systems
Green roof with solar panels to utilize rainfall to water landscape projects
Water retention system that captures rainwater and HVAC condensation to water surrounding landscaping
Natural vegetation landscaping to minimize water requirements

The new James Madison AMP facilities are sure to be a model of what the future of agriculture education in Texas has to look forward to.

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