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Construction begins on Belton ISD’s new agricultural facility

Following the passage of the 2022 Bond, Belton ISD initiated the design process for its Agricultural Facility addition by going straight to the experts: the ag teachers who lead instruction in the district’s growing FFA program


“Involving a variety of stakeholders, including Career & Technical Education Agricultural teachers, is pivotal to ensuring the space meets the specific needs of our FFA program,” said Denise Ayres, Belton ISD’s Director of PK-12 Career Readiness. “Our teachers provided critical insights into the layout, functionality and accessibility, and also played a key role in selecting industry-aligned equipment to support our experiential learning goals.”


The collaborative effort ultimately resulted in the design of a 10,000 square foot ag barn addition, with spaces to accommodate 40 swine and 12 poultry units, as well as room for future expansion. Construction of the facility began in January, following the selection of Bounds Commercial Construction as the District’s construction partner.


“The new agriculture facility is designed specifically for swine and poultry,” said Mike Morgan,  Belton ISD’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations. “The environmental needs of pig, chicken, and turkey show animals are different from sheep, goats, and bovines, and the current facility will continue to house other animals that are not swine or poultry.” said Morgan.


According to Ayres, Belton ISD’s FFA and Ag Science programs provide a blend of rigorous academic instruction and hands-on learning opportunities. Through participation in competitive events, raising livestock, and community service projects, students develop each of Belton ISD’s Journey of a Graduate competencies, leading them to career and college readiness.


Currently, approximately 950 students participate in Belton ISD’s FFA program. Ayres noted that with the upgraded facilities and expanded resources, Belton ISD will be able to expand experiential learning for a greater number of students and provide them with the opportunity to explore their interests in agriculture, thus developing valuable skills.


“With updated equipment, improved infrastructure, and enhanced safety features, students will have access to experiential learning mirroring real-world agricultural scenarios,” said Ayres. “The barn serves as a hub for collaborative learning, fostering a sense of community among our students, teachers and parents. Whether it is caring for livestock or participating in learning workshops, students will have increased industry-aligned experiences to learn and grow together.”


Belton ISD anticipates the new ag barn will be complete this summer.