What a Difference a Year Makes! Tuloso-Midway Agriculture Complex
In August 2016, Tuloso-Midway High School opened the doors to the Tuloso-Midway Agricultural Complex. The facility was designed to accommodate growing district needs and is located on five acres across the street from the high school. Facility features include a multipurpose classroom to support diverse teaching opportunities and to hold meetings, a tack and feed room, wash and trim areas, an outdoor exercise area, and a drive-through barn for easy animal pickup or drop off. The 17,300 square-foot complex has space for 100 student animal projects, six steer pens, ninety-two pig, sheep, and goat pens, ten poultry pens, and ten rabbit pens.
Prior to the new barn, additional animals could not be accepted due to a lack of space. During the planning stage for the project, the committee had a “build it, and they will come” mentality. Participation in the agriculture program has increased, and the program is forecasted for continuous increases in enrollment.
The previous barn and many of the surrounding barns have a major issue with local birds. The open concept does not restrict these intruders from eating the other animals foods or nesting. According to VLK Architect’s Project Coordinator, Angel Rivera, “Typically, when you design a school, your focus is what’s best for the people that will use the facility. What was exciting about this project was that we focused on what is best for the animals. I truly enjoyed designing the screen system to keep the birds out. The overhead coiling door allows for natural ventilation throughout the building. I gained knowledge that I will value for a lifetime.”
“The old barn had many issues including ventilation and drainage. The new barn’s advanced features such as automatic lighting by the lockers, security/monitoring system, the placement of the water system on the perimeter of the barn which provides a much needed increase in water accessibility, and the new ventilation system take the barn to another level. Having everything housed in one barn with a drive-through also saves teachers and students valuable time” said Tuloso-Midway ISD, CTE Director, Dr. Michelle Williams. “As parents tour the new facility, it is really great to see their appreciation. We all appreciate the architecture of it, the layout, and the thought that was put into creating such a great facility.”