CCC&TI, Middle College students lead Greenhouse Project

HUDSON, NC (March 13, 2017)…Since its installation and opening in 2003, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Caldwell Campus greenhouse has been the location for countless hours of instruction, learning and growing. When the time came for refurbishing the facility, CCC&TI instructors found a way to make sure that the instruction, learning and growing continued for one group of Career Center Middle College students.

The greenhouse project included electrical repairs, refurbishing the structure’s steel frame, new plumbing, removing rust and replacing the specialized fiberglass panels around the structure. Facility Services Director Jeff Herman and a number of CCC&TI and Middle College instructors collaborated on the project plan, and the majority of the work was completed by students.

Pictured left to right in the Caldwell Campus Greenhouse are CCC&TI Middle College students Randal Fleming, Avery Clark, Zach Helton, Thomas Melton, Robbie Link, and Manuel Oliva. These students helped coordinate and complete a recent renovation and repair project in the greenhouse.

Middle College junior Thomas Melton was the lead engineer for the project. Melton, who is working toward an Associate Degree at CCC&TI with plans to transfer and major in mechanical and architectural engineering, said the greenhouse project was great preparation for real-world work. “This project was the closest experience to the real world we could have received. We learned about hard work, teamwork, and how to deal with problems,” said Melton. “On the site we knew we would have to communicate and work together to meet the deadline of the project. We would constantly have to adapt to the problems that occurred and think of a quick solution so the workflow could continue.”

Student Avery Clark was also involved with the project and agreed that working on the greenhouse was a great learning experience. “Being able to learn how to work in a group like this for an extended amount of time is something that will be truly valuable when we all enter the workforce,” said Clark. “But I think the biggest take away from this is the knowledge I gained of tools to use and how a construction job might look to an engineer like myself in the future. I think having this project on my resume will also help me with potential jobs in the future.”

In addition to Clark and Melton, students Ryan Balda, Randall Fleming, Zack Helton, George Hickein, Robbie Link, Manuel Oliva and Seth Pritchard also assisted with the project.

CCC&TI Landscape Gardening Director Debbie Mitchell who oversaw the construction of the greenhouse in 2002 says that she’s more than happy with the work done by the students. “They did a very professional job and met a very difficult deadline. I am so happy with their work and anxious to get our plants and our Landscape Gardening students back into the greenhouse,” said Mitchell.

For more information on CCC&TI’s Landscape Gardening Program. contact Debbie Mitchell at 828-726-2362 or email

A CCC&TI Press Release

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