O’Connell contributes to community with a greenhouse

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O’Connell contributes to community with a greenhouse

Mehul Shrivastava, Features Editor

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Where the old playground used to stand, junior Kyle O’Connell has built a greenhouse that will be used for the science curriculum. He completed this as his Eagle Scout project, which is meant to benefit the community and be continue to be a part of it as long as possible.

O’Connell was approached by Jenny Kravitz, curriculum coordinator of the science department, with a request to build a greenhouse for environmental science and biology programs. He was just in charge of the architecture; what was grown inside is to be decided by the science department.

O’Connell wanted his project to hold a lot of meaning to the community and the school as well as be something he can be proud of.

“I’m all for making a big impact, and this is my way of making a big impact at WA, something I can look back on,” O’Connell said.

The project was discussed with Principal Jim Antonelli, as well as other members of administration. O’Connell was also assisted by a carpenter and project adviser outside of school.

Before building the actual greenhouse, O’Connell spent much of his time working on fundraising and research. The school provided no money for the project, so all donations were from local business, such as NetScout and Cisco Systems.

“I spent easily hundreds of hours on just the research, the fundraising, the design, [and] the building,” O’Connell said.

The project began in July with the eventual goal of getting it done before the winter. O’Connell managed to finish much earlier, and it should be finished in the upcoming week.

“People tell me I have this problem of biting off more than I can chew. Maybe this was something, [but] I pushed through it,” said O’Connell.

Although O’Connell coordinated with teachers and administration, the research and design was done by him. The greenhouse is made of cedar wood and lexan polycarbonate, which, according to O’Connell’s research, is more durable than glass. He wanted to ensure that the greenhouse will last a very long time.

“I really hope the school, once I turn over the greenhouse to them, [that] they’ll take care of it for many years to come,” said O’Connell.

Over the course of this project O’Connell gained a lot of experience in terms of leadership when organizing building days and getting a team together to work with him.

O’Conell thanked both the administration and the science department for making the project possible.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to build this project,” O’Connell said.