It helps add program diversity at a small school, leaders say
LYNDEN — Students at Cornerstone Christian School have a new program to look forward to this school year.
Over the summer, the school acquired the greenhouse that was at the former Lynden Middle School on Main Street.
Darren Leyenhorst, chair of Cornerstone’s board of directors, said they thought about purchasing the greenhouse after hearing it was going to be put up for auction.
“It just so happens that Tim Faber, who is a member of our school society, was the architect on the Lynden Middle School project and he heard from them that it was going to be too costly to have [the greenhouse] installed at their new location,” Leyenhorst said.
The Lynden School District put the greenhouse up for auction and Cornerstone was initially outbid for it.
However, Leyenhorst said, the original high bidder withdrew upon finding out about Cornerstone’s intentions.
The K-12 Christian school saw new opportunities for students with the building.
“As a small school, we don’t have many opportunities for diverse programs,” Leyenhorst said. “This gave us a relatively cost-effective way to provide additional diversity in programs for a small school.”
Heather Johnson, who has a background in food production, was hired in July to lead the horticulture program at Cornerstone.
“We are just developing the curriculum for it,” Leyenhorst said. “We also plan to incorporate items related to our plant sale, which has to do more with flowers and other things like that.”
Leyenhorst said Cornerstone received support and help from the community in getting the greenhouse up and running in time for the new school year — from its move just in mid-July.
Northwest Farm Credit Services awarded Cornerstone a community grant of $2,500 to help out. Members of the community donated time and equipment, Leyenhorst said.
“It was wonderful, from such a wide variety of people that were in support of it, to get time and materials for it,” he said. “It’s definitely a blessing to see.”
An opening ceremony for the greenhouse was held on the first day of school Aug. 27 to kick off the school year. The horticulture program is available to high school students at Cornerstone.