Mattituck’s donated greenhouse doesn’t meet state code, plans stall


Construction of the greenhouse at Mattituck High School has come to a halt because the greenhouse doesn’t meet state building code, school board member Douglas Cooper said at Tuesday’s board of education meeting.

“We have a small greenhouse, 35 by 45 [feet],” he said. “You’re allowed up to 350 square feet without a state building permit and this would be three times that size, or four times that size.”

Jamesport farmer Carl Gabrielsen donated the greenhouse as part of the district’s sustainable agriculture initiative and began construction on it this summer.

Mr. Cooper didn’t specify which state regulations the greenhouse didn’t meet.

“The state regulations are ridiculous,” Mr. Cooper said. “What we have is small, quite small. It’s going to be beautiful for our school district, and we’re not allowed to do it. So that’s going to be on hold for the time being.”

Although the plans for the greenhouse have stalled, the high school environmental class created to function in conjunction with the greenhouse will continue this year.

“We’ll get through the greenhouse part … the curriculum is looking really, really good,” said board member Barbara Wheaton.

The high school class focuses on gardening, sustainable practices and environment and organic farming at local farms.

Ms. Wheaton said the district’s agricultural program is working with staff at the elementary school in an effort to coordinate between the elementary school garden and the high school.

“I just felt that the curriculum is alive here,” she said.

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Photo Caption: The greenhouse at Mattituck High School that doesn’t currently meet state building codes (Credit: Jen Nuzzo file).