Photos by Joshualee Vivar
May 2, 2022 – STAFFORD, Texas – It’s been a dream five years in the making, and today the Stafford Municipal School District’s (SMSD) new Agriculture building is a reality. SMSD students and administrators were on hand Saturday, April 23, to officially open the facility, located at 1001 Constitution Avenue in Stafford, TX, with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Stafford High school students will use the 3000-square-foot-building to keep and raise large farm animals. The high schoolers will show and compete with their animals at agricultural events, including the Fort Bend County Fair and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
With the district’s emphasis on career and college readiness, this new offering nurtures learning, and it also educates students about professions in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. The concrete block structure, with metal roof and controlled entry access gate, comes complete with security cameras, stalls, and fans to keep the animals cool and comfortable, a tack room, an office, surface parking, and lush areas for cattle to graze.
According to Deborah Nordt, SMSD’s Director of College & Career, “Agricultural Science projects provide opportunities for students to develop responsibility, patience, and understanding by regularly caring for animals. In addition to feeding and caring for animals, through Animal Science projects, students learn about animal health, nutrition, and physiology.”
Victor Fleming is Program Manager for Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, Inc. (LAN). LAN oversaw the management of the project for the district. Fleming says, “Having a brand-new agricultural facility is very important to the students, parents, and advisors. The new facility is great for the District’s Agricultural Science program and our community. It will allow students the opportunity to apply skills and concepts they are learning in the classroom in a real-world setting.”
The new campus, which cost $1,068,000, replaces an older barn and yard which was required to be demolished to make way for an access road. SMSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic adds, “It’s a gift and reality to have an expanded and upgraded building. The previous facility had to be demolished to allow for a new access road, and this is truly a benefit for our students.”
Students and their animals will begin using the new Agriculture building in May. Once operational, younger SMSD elementary and middle school students will also get to visit and see farm animals in a controlled environment to learn about the health and nutrition of animals. The street bordering the new facility will eventually be renamed to Barnyard Boulevard, which was the name selected by students. The rename was unanimously approved by the SMSD Board of Trustees at a board meeting in April 2022.
About the Stafford Municipal School District
The mission of SMSD is for every student to graduate college and career ready without remediation. The district is extraordinarily diverse and ready to serve 3,600 students from Pre-K to 12th grade at 5 school campuses — Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, Middle School, High School and STEM Magnet Academy. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers, SMSD is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and very strong partnerships with the city. Additional information about SMSD is available at www.staffordmsd.org.
LAN is a full-service consulting firm offering planning, engineering and program management services for the nation's heavy civil infrastructure needs. With nearly 350 employees across the United States, LAN is a national leader in the engineering industry and is consistently ranked among the “Top 100 A/E Firms” according to Engineering News-Record. LAN is a LEO A DALY company, an international architecture and engineering firm.